Chef’s Fall Recipes: Julio Taveras’ Butternut Squash Soup

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Chef Julio Taveras is originally from Santiago in Dominican Republic. He began working in NYC restaurants as early as 1984, and over the next eight years, Julio moved up the kitchen hierarchy from prep chef to line cook, and finally as the chef. One of his favorite activities is sharing recipe ideas and food trends with his family members and friends in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Miami. His greatest inspiration are the chefs he has worked with in the industry, and he loves to incorporate some Spanish influence into his dishes as much as he can.


Chef Julio Taveras of Moran’s Chelsea

They used to close the restaurant for Thanksgiving and just make dinner for themselves and the employees. But one year, some customers arrived at the restaurant expecting to have dinner. They just decided to invite them to join in their Thanksgiving dinner. When more customers arrived, they’ve come to the conclusion to simply open the next year. It’s no biggie, really, since most of their team are from other parts of the world and distant parts of the country so they can’t really travel home for Thanksgiving.


Butternut Squash Soup by Chef Julio Taveras of Moran’s Restaurant in Chelsea

Chef Julio has the perfect ‘Butternut Squash Soup’ recipe for this season. He explains why the recipe is special to him by saying, “What I love about this Butternut Squash Soup is that it is warming yet light. The soup can be made ahead of time and is easily prepared. I also love the nuttiness of the flavor and the aroma of the squash baking. It warms the entire restaurant up. The holidays are a magical time of year for me! I love entertaining so the holidays are the perfect time for this. I’ve never been able to cook for 2 persons, so when I bake butternut squash, I cook enough to make soup, ravioli and dessert.”

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash about 2 pounds
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of butter
2 Leeks finely sliced
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of Heavy Cream
1/3 cup of Ameretto Disaronno
3 crushed Amaretti cookies ( without the sugar on top)
salt to taste
1/2 spoon Cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
3. Cut Butternut Squash in half lengthwise and clean out the cup of seeds.
4. Season the Butternut Squash with Olive Oil, salt and Cayenne pepper.
5. Cover the tray with another layer of aluminum foil, sealing the butternut squash.
6. Cook at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
7. When the squash is ready ,heat the olive oil and the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
8. Add the leaks and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until wilted. Add the squash and 4 cups of vegetable broth to the leek mixture.
9. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream, ameretto, cayenne pepper and ameretti cookies. Steam for 15 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and puree in a food processor.
11. Return to heat and add the 2 cups of vegetable broth and season to taste. Enjoy!


Moran’s Chelsea is serving Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 28. The three-course meal includes choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Cost is $65, plus tax and gratuity. Menu is as follows:

Tomato and garlic bread soup
Mixed green salad with pear and almonds

Traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings
Filet mignon
Grilled salmon

Choice from our dessert cart with tea or coffee

For reservations or other inquiries, contact Moran’s Chelsea at 212-627-3030. You can check out their official website and Facebook page for more information and updates.

Moran’s Restaurant & Catering is located at 146 10th Avenue, at 19th Street, New York, NY 10011

Hours of Operation

Brunch 11:00am – 3:00pm
Dinner Saturday 3:00pm – 11:00pm
Sunday 3:00pm – 10:00pm

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Chef Ken

Chef Ken

A chef by profession, a foodie at heart. He's been passionate about food and cooking since he was young. He is the online Community Manager of FriendsEAT.
Chef Ken