How to make a soup tureen from a squash

If you’re like me, you keep a fairly trim collection of serving dishes and the ones you own are multi-purpose to save on space and money. I’m a big fan of oven-to-table cookware for that exact reason.

Here’s what I don’t own and probably never will: a soup tureen. I’ve seen them in kitchen stores, usually taking the shape of an enormous head of cabbage or a rooster. The fact is, I’m not even sure if soup tureens suit my style. I certainly don’t have a place to store one, especially if it only is used a handful of times a year.

Ebay lists gazillions of pumpkin-shaped soup tureens, but why not just make your own out of a real pumpkin or squash? That is what I did recently for a weekend dinner where butternut & leek soup was the main event.

How to make a squash soup tureen | Simple Bites #diy #Thanksgiving #squash

I think it turned out pretty well. The best part? I roasted the squash the next day and turned it into pie filling. Talk about multi-purpose!

How to make a soup tureen from a squash

I started with what I think was a Blue Hokkaido squash. It was slightly more green than blue and too flat on the bottom to be a Hubbard. A sugar pie pumpkin would work really well and I think a white pumpkin would be particularly pretty.

As per the images below, here are eight steps to making an edible soup tureen from a squash:

  1. Using a pot lid and a sharpie, mark a circle in the top for the ‘lid’ of the tureen.
  2. Cut around the circle with a sharp boning knife. A chef’s knife would also work. Be careful. Take your time. You need to cut at least 3 inches deep.
  3. Take a solid carving fork (a slot screwdriver would work also) and pry open the lid.
  4. Scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh inside.
  5. Turn the squash over and shave a little of the peel off the bottom so that your tureen can sit flat and not wobble.
  6. Slice about an inch-and-a-half of the extra flesh off the ‘lid’.
  7. (Optional step not pictured: Pre-warm the tureen with an unscented, dripless candle inside while you heat the soup. Not tested,  it was just an idea I had after the fact.)
  8. Fill the squash tureen with hot soup and carefully place on the table. Top with lid until ready to serve.

How to make a squash soup tureen | Simple Bites #DIY #soup #thanksgiving #harvest #squash

And there you have it. The next day, I inverted the enormous squash into a cast iron skillet and roasted it for about 2 hours at 375F. It softened right up and I puréed the flesh in the food processor for future pies, soup or whatever my heart desires.

I suppose using an edible bowl suits my rustic style of cooking and I love showing off the whole (or halved) winter squash at the table instead of in pureed form or another baked good. Acorn squash make beautiful bowls and are a good size for individual servings. This grain-free recipe for stuffed acorn squash from Deliciously Organic looks delicious, as does this meatier version from the Messy Baker.

Last Thanksgiving I halved a spaghetti squash, tucked in two cranberry-stuffed turkey roulades and roasted them all up together. With cider gravy, it was a fantastic holiday feast with winter squash highlighted right at the table.

Come to think of it, former contributor Shaina stuffed bell peppers with a Mediterranean rice a while back. And before that, there were Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes. What are we stuffing next around here? Who knows. But I do think you should make a squash tureen this fall!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Love this! Rustic style cooking or not, it’s simply fun for fall and a wonderful way to impress your dinner guests, too.

  2. Do you think it would work to pour boiling water in the tureen as you are heating up the soup? Thats what I do with the kids soup thermos for school. I wonder if it would work for the squash tureen?

    • Alicen, I think it would work for a quick heat up, but I hesitate to suggest the method to my readers. The squash tureen is heavy and awkward. There are no handles. It could be a recipe for disaster or a very bad spill.

      I think simply having the pumpkin or squash at room temperature and the soup very hot when it goes in is probably best.

  3. ok, this is SO going on my thanksgiving table. i have a garden filled with buttercup squash right now. i might have to make individual little bowls for everyone that comes over!

    • Molly – Yeah!! Buttercups would actually be perfect for individual bowls. Do them a day or three in advance. They keep like a carved pumpkin – perfectly fine if they are kept cool.

  4. This is beautiful! And I’m with you: I try to keep serving pieces pared down. We’ve lived in 3 different states in the past 3 years, and I just can’t move something that I use once a year.

  5. Wow, I think this is so impressive and quite beautiful! Such a simple idea with a gorgeous result. You’re my hero!! Really, not a joke, but also not in a weird way! 🙂

    • Brooke, thank you. That is the beauty of bringing natural elements to the table. They don’t need dressing up; they shine on their own. I’m sharing my entire Thanksgiving tablescape next week, so stay tuned. 😉

  6. We are planning a healthy seasonal party for friends soon and this squash tureen and your turkey roulade just made the menu! Where did you find such a lovely squash? I am headed to a pumpkin patch today and will see what I can find.

    • Too cool, Jennifer! That sounds like an awesome party. The roulade is SO good!

      There were so many winter squash to choose from at a local farm stand when I bought this one! It made the cut because I estimated it could hold soup for about 8ppl.

      Happy pumpkin hunting.

  7. Great idea! So many uses for the squash family…I once made mac and cheese and filled a hollowed out pumpkin with it, topped with a little more cheese, and baked until the flesh was soft. It stayed a nice shape and with each scoop of pasta came some delicious pumpkin. Yum! (Note: make sure your pasta is hot when you put it in your pumpkin or squash or it won’t heat all the way through by the time the flesh is cooked. Also, bake in the serving dish so you don’t have to move it!)

  8. That is the prettiest thing EVER.

  9. I love the idea and the look. I just finished reading Ruth Reichl book Tender at the Bone — are you familiar with it?? She did a soup using the whole pumpkin and as she served the soup you scooped up part of the pumpkin. I am fascinated by all that she did. I love the look of your soup and I’ve always wanted a soup tureen but there are other things I would like before that kind of luxury. Great photos — thank you for the recipe.

  10. Soooo fun Aimee! Definitely going to try this soon!

  11. I love that you re-purposed the squash and used it as a bowl! Such a fun idea!

  12. Oh wow! I’m always so enamored with all the lumpy, strange winter squash varieties –– that Blue Hokkaido is amazing. And I love the suggestion of a using white pumpkin, it would be so striking with a darker soup.

  13. Love this idea! So festive!

  14. I love this- I am seriously into baking in whole pumpkins and squash and the free “bowl” is stunning.

  15. I love this so much! Such a great idea and even better that you roasted it the next day for another dish. So going to use this idea.

  16. Such a pretty squash. I adore squashes, but I have yet to try that variety.
    I love that you pureed the squash tureen for future pies and such. Yum! I really think you can’t go wrong with having a freezer full of squash/pumpkin puree. It’s just so useful for everything from pies/cookies/muffins to even mac & cheese and savoury uses!

  17. LOVE this idea & I must try it out for the holidays 🙂

  18. This may be a dumb question but did you add something with the roasted squash as you pureed it? I made the tureen (awesome!) and roasted it, but now I’m not sure what to do with it before I store it away for future recipes. Maybe I should have figured that out before I made the tureen…:)

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