Garnishes Perk Up Butternut Squash Soup

Puréed butternut squash soup is a favorite of many hounds throughout the cooler months, and they liven it up with a diverse array of complementary mix-ins and garnishes.

Crunchy toppings provide textural contrast to the creamy soup. Croutons—made from bread or cornbread—are popular. CindyJ passes a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, which she says stays crunchy for a while. "The flavors go nicely with the soup," she says. Crisp bits of bacon offer a salty counterpart to the sweetness of winter squash, as do canned French's fried onions, which CanadaGirl says are "not classy, but delicious."

Hounds also love the way nuts and coconut marry with squash soup. They stir spoonfuls of nut butter—peanut, almond, or cashew—into the soup, or garnish it with toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds, or toasted, unsweetened coconut. Dollops of Greek yogurt or crème fraîche provide a cool, tart contrast to the soup.

For ski_gpsy, the ultimate combination is curried butternut squash soup with cilantro yogurt, cayenne yam chips, and Sriracha-maple pecans. "Unadorned it's a delicious squash soup. Put it all together and it's a rockin' mouth party!" ski_gpsy says.

Discuss: Butternut squash soup -- seeking mix-ins