Chai-Infused Butternut Squash Soup


Adapted from

Butternut squash soup gets its subtle flavor from warm spices. This recipe cuts down on ingredients—but adds one that packs complementary flavors: chai, the fragrant, Indian black-tea blend that includes cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger and black pepper. Steep chai-flavored tea with the squash while it simmers to infuse with just the right spice notes.

Serves 4-6.


  • Organic Chai Rooibos, by Tazo Tea
  • Pure Chai, by DavidsTea
  • Indian Spice Chai, by Harney & Sons


  • 3 pounds butternut squash
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 chai-flavored tea bag
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus extra for serving (if you can’t find crème fraîche, substitute heavy cream; do not substitute sour cream.)


  1. Peel and seed squash, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mince scallion whites and slice scallion greens; keep whites and greens separate. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, scallion whites, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in 5 cups water, scraping up any browned bits. Add tea bag. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bag. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return soup to clean pot and whisk in crème fraîche. Add extra water as needed to adjust soup’s consistency. Heat mixture gently over low heat until hot (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual portions with scallion greens before serving.

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