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Honeynut Squash Recipe

A bowl of bright orange honeynut squash soup on a white plate.

Creamy Honeynut Squash Soup (Sopa de abobara)

Honeynut squash are some of the lesser known winter squashes, but we are here to change that! As their name suggests, they are exceptionally sweet, and their skin has a beautiful amber hue. Unsurprisingly, they lend themselves to a number of recipes, savory and sweet. Today’s honeynut squash recipe is for a spicy, creamy soup: perfect for a cold winter evening. 

Honeynut Squash vs Butternut Squash

Honeynut squash are actually a hybrid between butternut squash and buttercup squash. They were an experiment by a professor at Cornell University in the 1980s, and cultivars didn’t appear in US markets until 2015. 

Honeynut squash have the appearance of mini butternut squash but with a deeper orange color (they have about three times the level of beta carotene). They are also sweeter than either a butternut squash or a buttercup squash, and their thin skin is edible. 

The average-sized honeynut squash is about 4 inches long and between 2.5 and 4 inches wide, so you need more of them for a recipe than larger varieties of winter squash. 

a stack of green buttercup squash a stack of butternut squasha stack of orange honeynut squash

Buttercup squash (top) plus butternut squash (center) equals honeynut squash (bottom).

Honeynut Squash in Brazilian Recipes

Pumpkin dishes are quite prevalent in Brazil, especially since they can be grown year round. Quibebe, for example, is a savory pumpkin stew that slow-simmers big bites of butternut squash. And Christmas tables in Brazil are often adorned with a beautiful camarao na moranga: a roasted cinderella pumpkin stuffed with a creamy shrimp soup.

Again, honeynut squash are not particularly well-known. Most Brazilian recipes call for either butternut squash or the moranga (which we know in the US as a Cinderella pumpkin or pink pumpkin) or the abobora, which is butternut squash. While there is no substituting the moranga for your stuffed shrimp recipe, you can easily use the honeynut squash in place of butternut squash in most recipes. You will just need more of them.

Where to Buy Honeynut Squash

There are a few large grocery chains that carry honeynut squash this time of year. You can find them at Costco, Wholefoods, and Trader Joes. They are also often found at farmer’s markets, but it’s a little late in the year for those. 

You could also try growing your own honeynut squash from seeds! The process is much the same as any other winter squash: plant them indoors in March, then harden them off outdoors after the last frost. Transplant seedlings to soil in May. You can also directly sow the seeds in May and June as well. 

How to Cook Honeynut Squash

Like other winter squash, honeynut squash can be roasted, stewed, boiled, sauteed, and pureed. For this soup recipe, we highly recommend roasting the squash. It is very easy to do and it truly brings out the sweet nuttiness of the squash. 

To roast honeynut squash, remove the stems at the top of each gourd. Then cut each squash lengthways in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits in the middle with a metal spoon. Put each squash skin-side up on a lined baking tray. Roast them at 425 degrees fahrenheit for around 30 minutes until they are soft and you can see the sugars begin to caramelize. It will smell heavenly and the skins will wrinkle a bit. If you can easily pierce the skins with a fork, you should be good to go.

Let the squash cool and then scoop out the flesh into a bowl for later use. We won’t use the skins in this recipe, but you can certainly eat them if you want. 

Honeynut Squash Soup Recipe


Two cups of roasted honeynut squash (about three squashes), mashed to a pulp
One red bell pepper, diced
Half of one yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 tsp of salt (more to taste)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil, and sautee the bell pepper and yellow onion for two minutes, or until they start to soften. 
  2. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so, just until you can smell it. 
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and add in the salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and a few twits of freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer for fifteen minutes. 
  5. Stir in the honeynut squash mash and let the mixture heat up again to a rolling simmer (5 minutes)
  6. Remove the mixture from the heat and blend with an immersion blender until very smooth. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a stand blender, then return it to the pot and heat through once more. 

What to Eat with Honeynut Squash Soup

Enjoy your soup piping hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a big piece of crusty french bread for dunking. It also makes a great starter for a holiday or anniversary dinner. Follow it with a main dish of churrasco steak and a dessert course of passionfruit mousse and espresso. Perfeito!

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Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

creamy chicken and rice soup in a red pot

Canja de Galinha: Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup

Nothing is more comforting during the long winter days than a steaming bowl of soup. This creamy chicken and rice soup recipe is so simple but so delicious, we are sure you’ll be making it regularly. Standard chicken and rice soup gets an upgrade with fresh cream, herbs, and potatoes for an even heartier dish. Serve it with a slice of crusty bread for a perfect weeknight meal, or sip it to soothe a sore throat. 

Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup

Brazilians typically do not eat chicken and rice soup with cream. However, we are taking a little artistic license and adding a spot of cream for a more satisfying texture and mouthfeel. The cream makes the broth silky and less greasy, although you can certainly leave it out if you want a clear broth. 

Brazilians do add a twist to their canja de galinha in the form of potatoes. This is not an ingredient typically found in American creamy chicken and rice soup, but it should be! The potatoes add another layer of texture and make the soup more satisfying. One bowl is usually plenty with this hearty soup! 

Why Do We Eat Chicken and Rice Soup When We Are Sick?

Chicken soup has earned a reputation as the go-to meal when fending off an illness. There are countless versions all over the world. The 12th century Jewish philosopher and physician, Maimonides, gushed about the concoction’s ability to provide nourishment to pregnant women and aid in the curing of various diseases. To this day, a version of chicken soup with dumplings is called “Jewish penicillin.” 

The reasons why chicken soup is so healing might be attributed to several factors. It is often more palatable than other dishes when loss of appetite has occurred. The broth offers much needed hydration, while the salt provides electrolytes. The remaining ingredients ensure a balance of protein and carbohydrates, helping the body stay strong while it fights the illness. Chicken itself is rich in amino acids that assist with the breakdown of pesky secretions, such as excess mucus. 

Our recipe for creamy chicken and rice soup also features diced tomatoes. This may sound like a strange combination, but the tomatoes add a beautiful brightness to the soup, not to mention a healthy dose of vitamin C (a must if you are making the soup while sick). 

Should You Pre-Cook Rice for Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup?

We recommend using pre-cooked rice in this recipe. You can use uncooked rice, but you may need to add more broth, since the rice and potatoes will soak up a good deal of the liquid quite quickly. 

For this reason, this creamy chicken and rice soup is a great meal to use up leftovers. You can make it even easier on yourself by using leftover chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken shredded with forks. 

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe (Canja de Galinha)


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 tomatoes, diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups cooked white rice
2 tsp salt, or more to taste
Pinch of ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1 tsp dried)


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil.
  2. Add in diced onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in garlic. Saute for 1 minute more. Add salt, pinch of clove, and a few grinds of pepper.
  4. Add in potatoes, minced thyme, whole chicken breasts, and chicken stock.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, then reduce to medium.
  6. Simmer for twenty minutes, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are fork tender.
  7. Remove chicken breasts to a plate and shred with two forks.
  8. Return shredded chicken to soup. Stir in heavy cream and add cooked rice and the diced tomatoes. Simmer for ten minutes more until the soup is heated through. 


More Delicious Brazilian Recipes to Try:


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