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.

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. (If you’re craving a bit more spice, try Spicy Butternut Squash Soup.)

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 (or at least tied with Minestrone Soup). 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

4.45 from 20 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


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


  • 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.


*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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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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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

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

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

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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. 

    1. Kelly, I am so, so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for letting me know, and enjoy the leftovers too :-)

  9. 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”

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

    1. 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!

    1. That’s how I made it and it turned out great! I also substituted red curry powder for cayenne. I’m making this for the second time : ) very easy to make vegan/vegetarian!

    1. 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.

  10. 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 :)

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

  12. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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!!!

  17. 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.5 stars

  18. 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!5 stars

  19. 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 :)5 stars

    1. 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! :)

  20. 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. 1 star

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  21. 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 :) 5 stars

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

  22. I made this but reduced the measurements a bunch because I only needed it for 2 people! I did about 2.5 lbs of squash, 2 apples – one granny Smith and one mcintosh – and one onion. I also used less stock based on the consistency I wanted. I baked sunflower seeds with paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and put them in the soup as well! It was so good with the croutons and seeds my husband and I both had to have a second bowl!5 stars

    1. Hi Rachel, I’m afraid I don’t have a specific measurement. On average, one butternut squash yields between 1 and 2 cups of puree, so you could use that conversion as a start! I hope that helps!

  23. I made this soup but instead of chicken stock, I used part vegetable stock and part coconut milk for creaminess. Yum!!!4 stars

  24. I made the soup on a cold winters Sunday after church. 
    I opted not to make the croutons, as my husband and I are grain free. I did sprinkle a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese just for presentation. It was outstanding! I will be making this again. 
    Cheers!5 stars

    1. Kristina, I’m so happy to hear the soup was a hit! Thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing this wonderful review!

  25. This is my favorite butternut squash soup!! I have made it twice. Using the pre-cut squash from Trader Joe’s makes it so simple and the same great taste. I have also made the croutons with fresh and dried sage, both equally yummy!5 stars

  26. This butternut squash soup and the croutons are amazing together! I add carrots, and a bit of coconut milk to the soup. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I’ve made this several times now ?5 stars

    1. Hi Megan, I think you could try freezing them without the Parmesan cheese and then warming them up in the oven and tossing with the cheese after. I haven’t tried it myself, so it’d be an experiment.

    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!

  27. 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

  28. 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

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Pamela! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  29. 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

  30. This feels very similar to your other butternut squash soup- could it also be done in a slow cooker or instant pot?

    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!

  31. I followed the recipe exactly, and I’m sorry, this soup is very bland. I think a little more apple, a little less squash might be better. And definitely not enough seasoning.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Jewel. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would have loved it!

  32. Making this recipe and I a little confused. When I hit the 2x or 3x button, all quantities change except the squash. Is this an error?3 stars

    1. Hi Laurie! I think that might be an error. When I click 2x button it says 4 large squash, when I click the 3x button it says 6 large squash. Hope this helps!

  33. I’m 84 & wrestling with a butternut squash is out of the question……so……any recipe that starts ‘cut in pieces & then later puree’ I change to……ROAST till soft THEN proceed with the recipe. That process works perfectly with soup! Just sayin…..Nancy

  34. for 4 servings how much chicken stock do you use? the recipe says 1.5-2 cups, yet the directions say 2 cups to start with and 1 more cupd after puree is done.

    1. Hi Mary Beth, the amounts only change in the list of ingredients when you change the servings. Unfortunately it doesn’t change in the directions. (This is done through the recipe card and I am not able to change that on my end). So if you are halving the recipe, you will want to make those adjustments in thew directions. Hope you enjoy it!

  35. I have made this soup many times over the past couple of years and it is so delicious! I usually don’t make the croutons and instead just toast my sourdough, add butter, and sprinkle on the sage with garlic powder. I tried the croutons for the first time this go around. Still tasty, but I found some flavor is lost as the olive oil soaks in too fast before the spices get on my bread. I think the only thing I’ll change next time is to butter and sprinkle spices on the bread before I bake into croutons. Other than that, everything about the recipe is amazing.5 stars