Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Sage Parmesan Croutons

When I look back on the month that Ben and I spent in Paris, what fills my heart with the most longing isn’t the array of chocolate shops, the way the Eiffel tower sparkles at night, or even the proliferation of excellent bakeries—it’s lunch.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup. A healthy and easy butternut squash soup recipe. Perfect for freezing and reheating!

Yes, I miss the croissants and the macarons and stopping into fine cheese shops just because we could, but what fills me with the greatest nostalgia is the long, leisurely café lunch. Every afternoon, Ben and I would pick a different Paris neighborhood, wander into whichever cozy café caught our eye, then settle in for a two-hour meal with glasses of wine and our books. We’d chat, people watch, and marvel at just how fabulous doing absolutely nothing can be.

What surprised me the most about lunch in Paris wasn’t the unabashedly unhurried pace (though as an over-productive American who spent years eating lunch at her desk, the sensation never did wear off completely); it was the beautiful simplicity of the food. Most neighborhood Parisian cafes don’t serve lunches comprised of fussy dishes with six sauces and painstaking preparation. Rather, you’ll find simply grilled meats, composed salads, and tidy, open-faced sandwiches called tartines. Today’s recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons would be right at home on a French cafe menu too.Simple and delicious Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons. An easy, healthy butternut squash soup recipe filled with warm flavor. Easy to freeze and reheat too!

Do not make the mistake of confusing “simple” with “boring.” Although French café lunches are not fussy, their flavor is profound, because they use the best-quality seasonal ingredients. I feel the same way about this Butternut Squash Apple Soup. A read of the ingredient list—tart apples, creamy butternut squash, yellow onions, and freshly grated nutmeg—do not do justice to the delicate balance of sweet and savory autumn flavors and the comforting, rich texture that this butternut squash soup recipe offers.

A simple healthy recipe for Butternut Squash Apple soup that's filled with wonderful flavor and freezer friendly too!

If you were to stop by my house for an impromptu lunch any afternoon this fall or winter, Butternut Squash Apple Soup would be on the menu, one because it is absolutely scrumptious, and two because from September through February, I always have a quart or two of it tucked away in my freezer. Because butternut squash is plentiful, inexpensive, and delicious, I buy it in big quantities and turn it into a fresh pot of soup at least two or three times a month.

The best ever butternut squash apple soup recipe. Easy, vegan and absolutely delicious!

Though out the years, I’ve experimented with dozens of different recipes for butternut squash soup, and today’s version with apples and nutmeg is my favorite so far. It’s healthy, cozy, lightly sweet, and marvelous reheated for an easy lunch or dinner.

Although a bowl of Butternut Squash Apple Soup is fantastic on its own, I enjoy dressing it up with a dollop of Greek yogurt, crumble of goat cheese, or as I did the last time I made it, homemade sage Parmesan croutons. I cubed a crusty, chewy sourdough I picked up at a local bakery, tossed it with a bit of olive oil, salt, and sage, and 10 minutes later had golden, crunchy croutons to stir into my creamy Butternut Squash Apple Soup.

Easy Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons

While the croutons were still warm, I sprinkled them with freshly grated Parmesan. I love the nuttiness of the cheese with the round warmth of the nutmeg, but if you’d like to keep the butternut squash soup vegan, you can simply omit it.

Simple and delicious Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons

This Butternut Squash Apple Soup is a little piece of the simple, beautiful, and seasonal food I dream about when I think of French cafes, right here for us to enjoy. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and let’s pretend we are in Paris. Bon appétit!

A note for soup lovers:

  • My immersion blender was one of the best tools I ever bought myself and makes pureeing soups like this one astronomically easier (and safer) than transferring the piping hot soup mixture to a blender or food processor in batches.
  • If you prefer a food processor, or are in the market for a new one, I have used and loved this one for almost nine years. It’s easy to clean and works as well as the day I bought it.
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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

A simple, healthy recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons. Rich, comforting and filled with warm flavors. Easy to freeze and reheat!

Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups total)
  • 2 large butternut squash (about 5 pounds total), peeled and diced into chunks
  • 4 medium or 3 large apples (I like using a mix of sweet apples such as McIntosh or Golden Delicious and tart such as Granny Smith or Cortland), peeled, cored and roughly diced
  • 3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Sage Parmesan Croutons:

  • 6 cups 1-inch cut sourdough or whole grain bread cubes (use a hearty, crusty loaf—you’ll need about 6 thick slices total)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large, deep stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over low. Add the onions and cook until very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the onions cook, cut and peel the squash and apples. Add them to the pot, then add 2 cups of the stock. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to low, then cover, and cook until the squash and apples are very soft, about 20 to 30 minutes depending upon how larger you cut your squash and apple pieces (smaller pieces will cook more quickly).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Place the bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sage and salt, then toss to coat. Spread the cubes in a single layer, then bake until lightly crisp and brown, 10 to 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, toss to coat, then set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Once the apples and squash in the soup pot are tender, puree the soup with an immersion blender or carefully transfer it to a food processor fitted with a steel blade to puree in batches. Return soup to the pot once complete. Add 1 cup of the remaining chicken stock, then stir, adding a bit more stock as needed to reach your desired consistency (the soup will thicken somewhat when stored). Leave the texture fairly thick and rich. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne. Taste and add a bit more salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot, topped with sage croutons.

*It’s an incredible flavor upgrade to grate your own nutmeg from whole nutmeg, vs. buying preground. I use this zester to do it. Other uses: grate fresh nutmeg into your oatmeal, vanilla ice cream, and coffee too!

Leftover butternut squash apple soup can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

In the spirit of creating dishes that use best ingredients available right here, right now, I’m sharing this Butternut Squash Apple Soup recipe as a part of this month’s Eat Seasonal blogger collaboration. Below you’ll find a list of what’s in season for November, plus a list of mouthwatering recipes that highlight and celebrate seasonal ingredients. I hope they inspire you to make some wonderful seasonal dishes of your own!

What's in season in November. The best seasonal vegetables and fruits to use in November

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

67 comments

  1. This soup AND the croutons, I’m in love! Also, the photos… so gorgeous!

  2. Those Sage Parmesan Croutons are calling my name! What a simple, flavor-packed lunch idea!

  3. Photography = killing it. This looks AMAZING, love!

  4. hey girl This looks and sounds amazing!!  Yummy for my tummy!

  5. Girlfriend this soup is magical!  Dang!

  6. Oh how I am dreaming about lingering over a long lunch right about now. The Parisians know how to do things right! This soup looks fantastic. Love the nutmeg in here. And hello croutons! No naked soups = that’s my official position!

  7. I had the privilege of spending time in Paris years ago with my husband and I remember lunches just as you’ve described them.  Simple food full of flavor is some of the best, and this soup with those croutons look like the perfect lunch!

  8. Dem croutons tho! LOL this looks super easy and really tasty but those croutons really bring it up a notch. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Yes, immersion blenders are life-changing tools. I love crunchy croutons—they are savory candy!

  10. I’m a sucker for butternut squash soup….but I’m pretty sure I could live off those croutons! 

  11. This butternut squash soup looks amazing! Also, can we have a blogger retreat in PARIS?!!! 

  12. This looks so cozy :) Butternut squash soup is one of my weaknesses – thanks for sharing! 

  13. I think I would like this with both the goat cheese and croutons…  is that gluttonous?  I had a butternut squash bisque recipe at one time that I loved, but that recipe has long since disappeared.  So when I want a butternut squash soup, this is the one I’ll try.

  14. I’m a sucker for long European style lunches too.  With wine of course! :)  Hope you are doing well and enjoying a beautiful fall!!

  15. These photos are stunning! Obsessing over those sage parm croutons :)

  16. this soup looks so comforting and delicious! The croutons take it to a whole new level!

  17. Your description of Paris reminds me why I want to visit there so much! This soup looks marvelous and would definitely be at home in a cute Parisian cafe. 

  18. I’m with you – butternut squash soup is totally a must have on any menu!

  19. Ahhh I miss France sooo much. What a dream.

  20. I made this with all organic ingredients and it was absolutely Devine!!! Def making again. Thanks for sharing!

  21. This soup is SO DELICIOUS!

    I just listed it as one of my top 4 butternut squash recipes in my post “Season’s Best: Butternut Squash”
    http://sugarplussalt.com/seasons-best-butternut-squash/

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

  22. Would want to use crockpot… 
    There shouldn’t be a problem, do you think?

    • Glenda, I’ve never tried making the soup this way, so it would be an experiment. I do think this is a style of soup that is well-suited to the slow cooker though, so please use your best judgement, and if you do make it in the slow cooker, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  23. Could you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

  24. Do you know about how many cups of butternut squash you used? Thanks

    • Hi Marie! It depends on how large your dice is. Generally a 2 1/2 pound butternut squash will yield about 3 1/2 cups of cubes, so for this recipe, you’ll need about 7 cups total.

  25. Susie Overholser Reply

    I just made your recipe for this and you state in your instructions to add black pepper but it isn’t listed in your ingredients. Just a heads up. I love the croutons and they are definitely a must. I didn’t have fresh sage so I used a teaspoon of rubbed sage and added italian seasonings. Next time I’ll add about a half cup less of onions. It was pretty strong. Thank you for your recipe and love that this soup wasn’t overly sweet and more of a savory soup :)

  26. Made this the other night for my family. Awesome recipe! I replaced the chicken broth with veggie and it tasted great. Thanks!

  27. I was really excited to try this recipe, sadly after I made it i wasn’t in love. I felt like it was missing something. If I make this again I’ll try to vary the types of apples and add a few additional seasonings. I didn’t feel like it had much depth of flavor. I’m open to suggestions on what others added!

    • Hi Rose! I’m sorry to hear this recipe missed the mark for you. Did you use low sodium (vs. salt free) chicken broth? The recipe may just be lacking salt. Otherwise, I’d suggest upping the amount of herbs, a dash of black pepper or cayenne, or trying an apple variety with a bit more flavor as you suggested. I hope you enjoy it more the next time around.

    • Saralee Czajkowski Reply

      I would add a little bit of seasalt, and DO NOT skimp on the cayenne! That really brings out the flavor!!

  28. Hello Erin !! Very tasty recipe you have shared with us , I tried this last week and it comes out well . I’m impressed with it . Your recipe is easy to make . Have a question can I add cardamom and ginger to make it more flavorful ??? Thanks in advance

  29. I stumbled upon your recipe and i just want to let you know it turned out really well! I used a mix of honeycrisps and gala apples. Also, your recipe is healthier than other recipes I found.

  30. If not using freshly grated nutmeg, would you recommend changing the quantity?

  31. Perfect! I can’t wait to serve it for HALLOWEEN tomorrow. so much flavor and healthy.

  32. I’ve got an oversupply of apples and this looks like just the recipe I was looking for! How well suited do you think it is to freezing the leftovers?

  33. So, I found this and was so excited to try something new! Only problem was that I only had 1 squash.
    So I added some yellow potatoes and it turned out pretty dang delicious! thank you!!!

  34. i love fall vegetables. i only had one squash and two apples so i just cut the recipe in half, especially since i’m the only one in the house that will eat it. i actually added applesauce to it after i pureed the apples and squash. added a bit of sweetness to it. thanks for this recipe, super simple.

    Rating: 5
  35. Saralee Czajkowski Reply

    Hey Erin!

    This has become our “GO TO” Butternut Squash Soup! I love all the ingredients, the creamy texture, and the use of chopped apples in it. It rivals Panera’s Autumn Squash Soup and is WAY healthier! For an additional flavor and protein, I sometimes brown some Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (from Aldi), until crumbly and add it in there. The flavors complement each other. Thanks so much for continuing to inspire us!! You have become my “go to” food blogger!! Keep eating!

    Rating: 5
  36. Thank you so much for this recipe! I found it this morning & it was just perfect for Thanksgiving. I used veg broth & cut everything in half bc I only had one squash. Didn’t notice it during dinner, either it was muted by our other foods or perhaps the cayenne hadnt really been absorbed into the soup initially, but later in the evening I had some more of the soup & it was spicy! Yum! Spicier than I had remembered from dinner. Thanks for sharing this with us! Oh also we sprinkled a little cinnamon on top :)

    Rating: 5
    • You’re welcome, Sarah! I’m so glad you loved it and that it could be part of your Thanksgiving. Thanks for leaving such a nice review! :)

  37. Just made this soup tonight. I also found the cayenne pepper to be a bit more than needed. Otherwise the overall taste was a bit bland. 

    Rating: 1.5
    • Hi Susan, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the soup. As you can see from other comments, others have tried it and enjoyed it, but I know everyone’s tastes are different. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it turn out, so I truly wish you would have enjoyed this one!

  38. Yummy! I have to make it again. I was hoping to freeze some of it, but ate it all right away!

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup, Erica! Double batch next time? ;) Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  39. do you have any idea about how many calories per cup or ounces?

    • Great question, Julie! Great question XXX! I started adding nutritional info to all of my new recipes, effective January 2016 (you’ll see it in the recipe box at the bottom). Unfortunately, it’s pretty time consuming, so I’m unable to go back and add it to past recipes. If you’d like the nutritional info for any of my older recipes (or really any other recipe or food), you can actually calculate it yourself for free at myfitnesspal.com (this is how I calculate the new recipes on my blog). I’m sorry I can’t give you the information for this specific one, but I hope that My Fitness Pal will be a helpful resource for you.

  40. I love love love this soup! I’ve made it several times now :) Thank you!
    Curious too about the calories

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you, Tess! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the recipe! Regarding nutritional info, I’ve actually started adding to all of my new recipes effective January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s pretty time consuming, so I’m unable to go back and add it to past recipes. If you’d like the nutritional info for this recipe (or really any other recipe or food), you can actually calculate it for free at myfitnesspal.com (this is how I calculate the new recipes on my blog). I’m sorry I can’t give you the information for this specific one, but I hope that My Fitness Pal will be a helpful resource for you.

  41. I made this last night for my vegan cousin and they adorned it! I added my own little twist but the consistency and everything came out perfect! My little 6 month old baby cousins even loved it and might add it to my baby food recipe if that’s fine :) 

    Rating: 5
    • Ria, I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a hit! Thank you so much for giving it a try and reporting back! :)

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