The first time I heard someone refer to orange soup, I couldn’t quite imagine how it would taste. Soup made from oranges? Wouldn’t that actually be orange juice, or orange compote? Was it served warm?—because the idea of warm oranges just didn’t sit well with me.

But then, at some point (and don’t ask how long it took), I realized that the name referred to the color, not the ingredients. Which is kind of strange, if you think about it. Because we don’t call zucchini soup “green soup,” and we don’t call corn chowder “yellow soup,” and we certainly don’t call mushroom barley soup “gray soup.” (Mmm . . . sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?)

Despite my initial confusion, I agreed to taste the soup, and it was so good that I had to make my own.

This soup is very simple to make, and it freezes (and reheats) well, too. The root vegetables make it filling, and this soup can really be a full meal in and of itself. I’ve even been known to have a bowl for breakfast.

I used butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, onion, zucchini and potato. I’d planned to include an acorn squash, but when I tried to cut it open, I suddenly realized why people have all kinds of knives . . . My trusty little kitchen knife just wasn’t up to the job.

Cut all the vegetables into chunks and put them in a sturdy pot. Add 3½ cups of cold water and some salt. Cook until vegetables are tender—about an hour. Allow the vegetables to cool for an hour or before blending. You can use an immersion blender, or ladle the vegetables (and the liquid) into a regular blender. If you prefer a chunky soup, loosely mash the vegetables with a potato masher. The consistency and taste will definitely be different, but also good.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream for an extra zing.


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 white potato
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 3½ cups water
  • Salt to taste (I used 2 tbsp. kosher salt)
  • Optional: sour cream for garnish


  1. Cut the vegetables into chunks.
  2. Place all ingredients in a strong-bottomed pot.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender (approximately 1 hour).
  5. Remove cover of pot, and allow vegetables to cool for at least 1 hour.
  6. Blend until smooth.

Yields: 4 servings

Variation 1: Spice it! I prefer this soup plain, but feel free to play around with the flavors. Add some nutmeg and cinnamon to bring out the sweetness. Or, add some pepper and garlic. It’s soup—it’s hard to go wrong!

Variation 2: Change the consistency. Do you prefer a thinner soup? Add an extra cup of water. Like it thicker? Drain some of the liquid before blending the vegetables.