Paraguayan Winter Squash Soup

Cayenne is a red or green hot chili pepper used to flavor chile food dishes and is also used for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeƱos, and others.

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2 Tbsp. butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
2 fresh, hot chilies, seeded and chopped
2-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
5 cups low-sodium, chicken broth (remove fat)
pepper to taste
very small amount of salt (optional)
lime wedges


In a large, non-aluminum saucepan, warm the butter over medium heat and stir in the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and cover the pan, then lower the heat and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.

Stir in the tomato puree, chiles, butternut squash and chicken broth, then bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Mash the squash pieces with a potato masher or the back of a spoon (the soup does not need to be completely smooth) then season to taste (optional) and serve. Pass some lime wedges to be squeezed into each bowl of soup and serve with fresh corn bread.

Recipe from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Social Services (NIH Publication No. 95-3906(s), January 1995).