This Butternut Squash Soup Recipe is the kind of simple, beautiful, and seasonal food that would be right at home in a French cafe. It’s made with apples, lightly creamy, and is exactly what I want for lunch every day this fall.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- Simple Elegance. A bowl of seasonal vegetable soup honors its time of year and is worth savoring. In the summer we have Tomato Bisque, Asparagus Soup welcomes spring, and Potato Cheese Soup keeps us warm through winter. It’s fall, so let the squash soup shine!
- A Celebration of Autumnal Flavors. Yes, we get it, we all love pumpkin spice everything. (Ahem: Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.) But there’s so much more to fall than pumpkin! With tart apples, creamy butternut squash, yellow onions, and freshly grated nutmeg, this creamy butternut squash soup has a delicate balance of sweet and savory autumn flavors.
- Freezer-Friendly. From September through February, I always have a quart or two of this soup 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. (My budget-friendly 15 Bean Soup and Cabbage Soup are also excellent for freezing!)
- Endless Variations. While I do have different versions of this recipe—Spicy Butternut Squash Soup, Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup—what I mean by variations is that you can truly create a unique version of this butternut squash soup by simply switching up the toppings. Go creamy with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, lean into the sweetness with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom, or stick with the sourdough croutons I share below.
- A Light, Healthy Soup. No heavy cream needed! The butternut squash purees into a velvety smooth, creamy consistency without the addition of dairy.
5 Star Review
“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.”— Donna —
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
For the Soup:
- Olive Oil. A variety you like to use for cooking is perfect—save the fruity, aromatic olive oil for drizzling over finished dishes.
- Yellow Onions. Yellow onions are a nice middle-of-the-road onion—less sweet than red, with less bite than white.
- Butternut Squash. You’ll need to peel and dice the squash, or take a shortcut and look for pre-cut squash in the produce section at the grocery store.
- Apples. For balanced flavor, I like to use some sweet apples, such as McIntosh or Golden Delicious, and some tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Cortland.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth. Stock is absolutely fine too, but keep in mind that it usually comes seasoned, so you’ll want to use a lighter hand with the added salt.
- Seasonings. Kosher salt, grated nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne.
For the Sage Parmesan Croutons:
- Sourdough Cubes. Whole grain bread works too; basically, you want a crusty, rustic loaf here.
- Olive Oil. Helps your croutons get crispy so they don’t turn to mush in your soup.
- Fresh Sage. Dried sage pales in comparison. You’ll likely have some extra, so add Chicken Saltimbocca or Pumpkin Pasta Sauce to your menu this week.
- Kosher Salt. My go-to for cooking.
- Grated Parmesan. The nutty, umami flavor of Parmesan is fabulous with butternut squash.
- Cook the Onions. Let them get nice and soft.
- Simmer. Add the squash, apples, and broth. Cover and simmer until the squash is tender.
- Make the Croutons. Sprinkle ’em with Parmesan and sage (YUM).
- Puree. Use an immersion blender or work in batches in a food processor.
- Finish. Add more liquid to reach. your perfect butternut squash soup consistency. Season, serve with the croutons, and ENJOY!
- Make It Vegan. Simply swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth and omit the Parmesan (or use a plant-based Parmesan) for a vegan butternut squash soup. (You’ll love this Vegan Potato Soup too).
- Add Bacon. For the opposite of vegan, cook bacon in the pot, then remove it and crumble it. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot and use this to cook the onions. (Alternatively, you can use Baked Bacon for topping and follow the original soup recipe.)
- Try Pears. Give your soup a slightly different flavor profile by using pears instead of apples.
- To Store. Store butternut squash soup an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat the soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or warm it up in the microwave. Add a splash of broth if needed to thin the soup.
- To Freeze. Transfer the soup to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
Meal Prep Tip
You can cut the onion and butternut squash up to two days ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash Soup
- Bread. If you skip the croutons, you’ll definitely want to serve some bread on the side—even if you do add the croutons, bread is still a good idea! Grab a loaf from your favorite bakery or try my Rosemary Olive Oil Bread or No Knead Focaccia.
- Salads. Pair butternut squash soup with a fall-inspired salad like my Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad or Apple Walnut Salad.
- Sandwiches. Speaking of fall pairings, my Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey is an outstanding partner for a bowl of butternut squash soup, or try a classic Air Fryer Grilled Cheese.
- Toppings. Try toasted pepitas, Brussels Sprouts Chips, Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, or chili crisp for a little bit of heat.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Immersion Blender. Truly 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.
- Food Processor. If you prefer blending your soup that way.
- Ladle. So much easier than using a spoon for serving!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Grate the Parmesan Yourself. The shelf-staple Parmesan they sell next to the pasta—you know, the kind in the green bottle—will not melt into the croutons the same way freshly grated does. It’s absolutely worth it to grate it yourself. I buy big blocks and grate them with a rasp grater or food processor whenever I need it for a recipe. Since Parm is a hard cheese, it’s much faster to grate than other varieties like cheddar!
- Cut the Squash Into Uniformly-Sized Pieces. If they’re all roughly the same size, they’ll all be tender at roughly the same time. Same goes for the onions and apples, but it’s even more important for the squash since hard pieces can get caught in your blender blades or create a gritty texture in your soup.
- Cool the Soup if You’re Using a Food Processor. This is absolutely essential! Piping hot soup in a closed blender or food processor has the potential to cause an explosion as the steam builds pressure.
- Use Freshly Grated Nutmeg. Yes, more grating! It truly makes a difference to grate your own nutmeg rather than buying a jar of it pre-ground; I use this zester to do it. Freshly grated nutmeg is also fantastic in Crustless Quiche, Cheese Fondue, and Apple Pie Filling.
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
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
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. 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.
- TO STORE: Store butternut squash soup an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or warm it up in the microwave. Add a splash of broth as needed to thin the soup.
- TO FREEZE: Transfer the soup to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, you should remove the skin—although it is edible, it’s tough and will add an unpleasant texture to your soup.
Make sure the butternut squash is fully cooked and tender before pureeing the soup. Also keep in mind that an immersion blender doesn’t do a perfect job blending butternut squash soup, so if you want it absolutely-not-a-single-lump smooth, you’ll want to use a traditional blender or food processor.
Very! This soup is low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene.