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. I miss the simple and undeniably delicious recipes that filled every menu. Today’s recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Sage Parmesan Croutons would be right at home at a French cafe.

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, and recipes like this butternut squash soup.

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

Butternut Squash Apple Soup – Cozy Comfort Food

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.

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.

basket of fresh apples and butternut squash

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 this 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.

Crusty loaf of artisan bread for making 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.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Simple and delicious Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Recommended Tools to Make Butternut Squash Apple Soup

  • 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.

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!

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

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

4.69 from 16 votes
A simple, healthy recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons. Rich, comforting and filled with warm flavors. Easy to freeze and reheat!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 8 servings

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 apples  ( or 3 large) 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 sourdough cubes or whole grain bread cubes(1-inch cut) 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

*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.

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup is a healthy and easy squash soup recipe. Perfect for freezing and reheating. This is one of my favorite fall soup recipes! | @wellplated | #soup #squash #fall #comfortfood #recipe

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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95 Comments

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    1. Hi Jayne! I (and other readers) have enjoyed the spicy/sweet combination that comes from using the cayenne. You can certainly omit it from the recipe if you don’t like the flavor. I’m happy you enjoyed the flavor of the recipe!

  1. I just made this recipe exactly as written and it is delicious! It was also very easy. I have tried many different recipes for Butternut Squash soup and this one is by far the best. I have printed it out and tucked it into my recipe binder. I used 2 tart apples and 2 sweet apples. The apples really add a depth of flavor. The fresh nutmeg is a must . I am a big fan of freshly grated nutmeg . This soup is going to be the perfect start to my Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you5 stars

  2. A hit in our house. My sometimes picky eater 9 year old who was initially hesitant to try it love d it and is taking some in her lunch tomorrow. Very flavourful!5 stars

  3. I made this using a mix of apples from fall apple picking and 2 butternut squash. Delicious! I didn’t have sage on hand but still made the croutons using a sun dried tomato, garlic and basil flavored bread I had on hand, with Parmesan cheese! It made for a hearty lunch and reheated nicely as well!5 stars

    1. Hi Carrie! 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 judgment, and if you do make it in the slow cooker, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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