This BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP recipe IS MEGA CREAMY (without ANY CREAM!), HEALTHY, EASY AND BURSTING WITH FLAVOR!
This easy Butternut Squash Soup is SO luxuriously creamy, rich and velvety, you won’t believe it’s low fat! It’s like a big, warm hug of winter velvety goodness that warms you from the inside out. Most importantly, you won’t believe how delicious this healthy Butternut Squash Soup is. It’s loaded with layers of complex flavors from butternut squash, onions, garlic, Granny Smith apple, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a splash of maple syrup that simmer together in a fragrant aromatic bath. After just 20 minutes, you blend the ingredients until intoxicatingly smooth then curl up with a big bowl of warm, creamy soup – without any guilt! This creamy Butternut Soup recipe is make ahead friendly, and freezer friendly for stress free dinners or lunches throughout the week.
Best Butternut Squash Soup Video
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP RECIPE
Happy New Year! I wanted to kick off the New Year with this deceptively healthy Butternut Squash Soup recipe – because it is everything a comforting soup should be – without the guilt! Now, I still have plenty of carby and cheesy recipes coming your way – because it’s all about moderation, right? But for now, you can satisfy your comfort food cravings with this Butternut Squash Soup. It’s SO good, you will forget you ever had any carb-cheese cravings – at least until the pot is gone.
Here’s why you’ll love this Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe:
- FLAVOR! This Butternut Squash Soup recipes is fabulous. It’s warm, fragrant and creamy boasting savory, layers of multi-dimensional restaurant flavor. Its complex flavor profile is inspired by my Cauliflower Soup in which I use a chef’s trick that makes all the difference. While I was staying at a retreat with my sister, we watched a chef’s demonstration in which the chef sweated fennel, onions and your other veggies to create the base of the extraordinary soup. As the fennel sweats, it becomes sweet and juicy, smooth and creamy and imparts a subtle sweet, bright, herby, slightly tangy flavor. The fennel combined with the sweet butternut squash, tart apple, aromatic onions, and garlic = heaven! The soup is further infused with warm cinnamon, spunky ginger and cumin and pinches of turmeric, ground nutmeg, ground cloves and red pepper flakes. Each spice adds subtle depth, combining to create a complex symphony that will blow your mind!
- HEALTHY: This Butternut Squash recipe contains heart healthy olive oil, just one tablespoon butter (or you can replace the butter with oil), ZERO cream and veggies! So, unabashedly slurp on and on and on… YAY for guilt free comfort food that will fill you up without weighing you down!
- CREAMY! Yes, you can enjoy a soup that is healthy and creamy too! Many of my recipes are lightened up like my Potato Soup, Broccoli Soup and Tomato Soup in which they still have cheese and/or half and half BUT like my Cauliflower Soup, this healthy Butternut Squash Soup is doesn’t have any cream or cream cheese! Instead, the softened, aromatic veggies are blended all together to create their own creaminess – if anything you’ll have to thin the soup instead of thicken it!
- QUICK AND EASY: The most time-consuming part of this whole recipe is peeling the squash – but you can do that in advance or purchase pre-sliced, cubed squash. The actual cooking takes less than 30 minutes – just 10 minutes of sautéing, 10 minutes of simmering, then blending to guiltless, indulgent creamy perfection!
- MAKE AHEAD: This Butternut Squash Soup tastes even better the next day which means you can enjoy it for lunch or dinner all week.
- FREEZES BEAUTIFULLY. This easy Butternut Squash recipe Soup doesn’t contain any dairy which means it freezes beautifully! This allows you to make it in bulk or in advance without worry about throwing out leftovers – instead you get to enjoy leftovers at a reheats notice.
- GOES WITH EVERYTHING: This healthy Butternut Squash Soup recipe can be enjoyed as meal all on-its-own or pairs wonderfully with practically everything. Although it’s flavorful, it’s a chameleon of sorts, so it can be enjoyed with any type of cuisine. I’ve also included recipe variations to mix up the flavor profile.
WHAT INGREDIENTS FOR BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
To make this easy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe, you will need:
- Butternut squash: one medium squash, or 5 cups chopped squash. If you have more or less squash, it’s not a huge deal, it just might affect the consistency slightly which you can easily adjust.
- Fennel: If you aren’t familiar with cooking fennel, most grocery stores carry it or specialty produce stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. definitely do. Look for plump, round fennel bulbs as opposed to flat elongated ones because those won’t be as sweet. We want just the bulb for our Butternut Squash Soup recipe, so chop off the fennel stalks at their base, where they join the bulb. You can discard the stalks and feathery fronds or use the fronds as a salad garnish.
- Granny smith apple: don’t skip and don’t substitute with a sweet apple! The tart apple adds a layer of subtle, yet delightful flavor.
- Onion: one yellow onion will do the trick.
- Garlic: use more or less depending on your garlic love.
- Chicken broth: I prefer chicken broth over vegetable broth because it has more flavor.
- Maple syrup: pure maple syrup and not imitation please.
- Butter: I love the added flavor but you can substitute with olive oil for an even healthier soup.
- Olive oil: you can substitute with your preferred cooking oil if you wish.
- Seasonings: cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cumin, turmeric, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. The seasonings all blend together beautifully to create a symphony of flavor you will want to give a standing ovation – or just eat more soup.
Is Butternut squash gluten free?
Yes! This Butternut squash recipe does not contain any gluten.
Is Butternut Squash Dairy Free?
The soup itself is dairy free. To keep it dairy free, garnish with coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
Is Butternut Squash Soup vegan?
As written, this recipe is not vegan due to the chicken broth. You can easily make it vegan by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A GOOD BUTTERNUT SQUASH?
Butternut squash can be more or less flavorful, so for the richest tasting Butternut Squash soup, you’ll want to start with a with a healthy, ripe squash. Here is what to look for:
- Look for a squash that feels heavier than its size.
- Find a squash with skin that has a matte finish. If the skin looks shiny, it was picked early and is not ripe.
- Touch the stem. It should look and feel dry where it was separated from the vine.
- Check for blemishes like cuts or dark spots. You don’t want any of those on your squash.
HOW DO I STORE FRESH BUTTERNUT SQUASH?
Once you select fresh butternut squash, you will want to keep it fresh. It’s a sad day when you’re giddy to make Butternut Squash Soup and your squash is bad. You will know your squash is bad if there are soft, mushy spots or if once cut open, the color is extremely dull or if the flesh is spotty, mushy or dry to the point it is pulling away from the skin. To prolong the life of your squash:
- Store fresh, uncut squash in a cool, dark place, such as a dark pantry, basement or closet, where sunlight won’t quicken its ripening.
- Make sure to keep it away from moisture to prevent mold and rotting.
- Proper conditions will keep your store-bought butternut squash fresh for two to three months.
- If you grow your own butternut squash or purchase it from a farmer’s market, it can last up to 4 months.
- Whole raw squash also keeps well in the refrigerator although it spoils more quickly than in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration is ideal for warmer times of the year. Butternut squash will keep in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
HOW DO YOU CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH?
Butternut squash comes in a fun shape and size with a tough outer skin, which can make it intimidating to cut up but just follow these easy steps and you’re on your way to become a pro!
- Wash your squash. You don’t know what conditions the surface of your squash has encountered. Some might say, “we aren’t eating the outside,” BUT our knife is going to be passing through the outside of the squash into the inside of the squash, so it is important that it is free from bacteria.
- Microwave to soften skin. I always microwave the squash for about 2 minutes to help soften the skin – it makes peeling so much easier! Make sure you poke the outside of the squash all over with a fork and don’t microwave it any longer or it could explode!
- Peel squash. Cut a small slice off the bottom of your squash to give a flat, sturdy end then place your squash on the cutting board on the flat end. Peel straight down from the top neck of the squash to the base. The squash will first reveal white and then green layers as you peel. Peel away all color layers until only orange flesh remains.
- Cut squash. Slice the squash down the middle, from top to bottom to create two even halves. Next, place the flat surface of the squash on the cutting board and cut into 2 pieces right where the neck meets the bulb. You should now have four pieces total. Use a large scoop with a serrated edge- like a grapefruit spoon and scoop out the seeds and the fibrous strings. Lay your neck halves flat side down on your cutting board and slice length wise. Lastly, cube all your slices by cutting the other direction and you’re done!
how to make BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Now that you’re a pro at selecting butternut squash, storing and chopping, let’s get to the main event – making Butternut Squash Soup! It is made in three easy steps: 1) Sweating the veggies; 2) Simmering; 3) Pureeing. Here’s how:
STEP 1: SWEAT VEGGIES
- First, we build the flavor for the entire soup by the sweating aromatics with the squash and Granny Smith apple. Sweating is a process in which vegetables soften and sweeten instead of turning golden.
- To sweat the aromatics, cook them over medium heat until translucent and tender, stirring often, this will take about 10 minutes. You will have to keep an eye on the onions to see when they’re done because they won’t turn golden.
- Once they’re translucent, add garlic and sauté for 60 seconds.
STEP 2: SIMMER UNTIL TENDER
- Next, add the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen up the browned bits. These golden bits are flavor GOLD.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. It is better for the veggies to be too soft, then not soft enough.
STEP 3: PUREE SOUP
- For the smoothest, CREAMIEST Soup, use your blender and not an immersion blender. I was not satisfied with the texture of the Butternut Squash Soup when I used my immersion blender.
- To puree the soup in the blender, add soup to your blender working in 2-3 batches. Once pureed, add soup to a separate bowl.
- While using the blender, make sure you let some of the steam escape by lifting up a corner or it will explode.
STEP 4: FINISHING TOUCHES
- Transfer pureed soup back to pot and stir in maple syrup to taste.
- Season to taste with additional salt & pepper again if desired.
What is a good garnish for butternut squash soup?
This butternut squash soup is delicious with roasted and salted pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds) for a contrasting crunch. You could also use chopped peanuts, pine nuts, pecans or sesame seeds.
For contrasting creaminess, I like a drizzle of coconut milk but you could also garnish with a dollop of sour cream, plain yogurt or crème fraîche.
You can also top with fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, sage, chives, etc.
Tips and Tricks for Best Butternut Squash Soup
- Use pre-chopped squash. Peeling and chopping the butternut squash is probably the most time-consuming part of this soup so if you want to save some time, purchase peeled, cubed butternut squash.
- Microwave squash. Squash is much easier and faster to peel if you soften the skin in the microwave. First, pierce the skin all over with a fork (or it will explode!) then microwave for two minutes, no longer.
- Chicken Broth: Take care your chicken broth is low sodium otherwise your soup might be too salty.
- Scale up or down. You can scale this Butternut Squash Soup recipe up or down. Just use the handy up or down arrows located next to the serving size and it will adjust the amount of ingredients for you.
- Consistency: The consistency of this soup is entirely up to you! For a thinner soup, stir in additional chicken broth. For a thicker soup, simmer with a cornstarch slurry.
HOW DO YOU THICKEN CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
This Butternut Squash should be gorgeously thick and creamy but if you need to thicken your soup, then you can do so with a cornstarch slurry. Simply mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Add to the soup and simmer until thickened. If you would like an even thicker soup, then repeat.
HOW DO YOU THIN EASY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
This Butternut Squash is on the luxuriously thick side but it easy to thin to desired consistency by stirring in additional chicken broth.
SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP INSTRUCTIONS:
You can also make this Butternut Squash Soup in the crockpot. Keep in mind that less liquid is evaporated in the slow cooker, so you may want to start with less chicken broth or your soup won’t be quite as thick. To make:
- Combine ingredients. Add all of the ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cook until tender. Cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high.
- Blend. Working in 2-3 batches, transfer the soup ingredients to the blender and puree until smooth.
- Garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with pepitas, coconut milk, etc.
CAN I PREP BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes! You can prep almost all of the ingredients for easy Butternut Squash Soup a day ahead of time so then it’s just dump, cook and eat! The only ingredient you’ll want to chop at the time of cooking is the apple. Here’s how:
- Veggies: you can chop the butternut squash, fennel, onions and garlic and place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Seasonings: you can measure out all of the seasonings and store them in a plastic aright bag.
CAN YOU MAKE BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP IN ADVANCE?
Butternut Squash Soup reheats beautifully, so it is perfect to make in advance. You can even meal prep by adding serving size portions into separate containers for the week (or up to 5 days). You can reheat individual servings in the microwave or heat larger quantities on the stove or crockpot until warmed through – see detailed instructions below.
HOW DO I REHEAT BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
- Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer Butternut Squash Soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
- Stove: reheat large batches of soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
- Crockpot: Transfer soup to crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
How long can you keep butternut squash soup?
This Butternut Squash Soup will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. As always, use common sense and if it doesn’t smell right, then throw it out.
CAN YOU FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
YES! This Butternut Soup freezes well because it does not contain any dairy, potatoes, rice or pasta.
- Cool. Cool Butternut Squash Soup completely before freezing.
- Package: Transfer soup to a freezer safe container. You can use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions, quart size bags or freezer bags. To easy fill these bags, place them in a container that you can wrap the top around the edge of – for example, place a sandwich size bag in a mug then cuff the edges around the mug. This keeps the bag open and prevents it from collapsing when you are pouring in your soup. Squeeze out any excess air then seal and label.
- Freeze. Freeze Butternut Squash Soup for up to three months
- Defrost/Reheat. The easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Easy Butternut Squash Soup VARIATIONS:
This Butternut Squash Soup recipe is great spring board for other flavorings. Here’s a few ideas:
- Roast the squash: Feel free to roast the butternut squash for an added nutty flavor. You could also roast the fennel and onions (sliced into thin wedges) with the squash, but take care to use an extra-large pan so you can space everything apart or they will steam and not roast.
- Thai version: I already have a favorite Curried Butternut Squash Soup recipe which I highly recommend. Essentially, you’ll want to omit the fennel, and replace the seasonings with 2-4 tablespoons red curry paste, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon dried basil and Asian chili sauce to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and additional lime juice to taste.
- Mexican version: replace the seasonings with 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 tsp EACH chipotle chile powder (more or less to taste), smoked paprika, dried oregano, and a pinch of cinnamon. Add 2-4 tablespoons lime juice to taste and garnish with cilantro.
- Italian version: replace the seasonings with 1/2 tablespoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in 1/2 Parmesan until melted.
WHAT MEAT GOES WELL WITH Creamy BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
This easy Butternut Squash Soup can be a meal all in itself, or a side to a main protein dish. It goes well with:
- Garlic Butter Pork Tenderloin
- Shrimp Fettuccine
- Honey Balsamic Beef
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Nashville Hot Chicken or Oven “Fried” Chicken
- Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
- Beef Brisket Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Honey Baked Ham, Brown Sugar Glazed Ham or Baked Ham with Cider Maple Glaze
WHAT SIDE DISHES GO WITH HEALTHY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP?
I love serving Butternut Squash Soup with simple sides to make it a meal. Try it with:
- BREAD. I love mopping up soup with a hearty piece of bread. This soup is delicious with grilled cheese (try Gruyere or Gouda!), garlic bread, breadsticks, dinner rolls or. sweet moist cornbread.
- ROASTED VEGETABLES. Although this Butternut squash Soup boasts veggies, its soothing warm creaminess is delightfully complimented by nutty, crisp tender roasted veggies such as roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts or roasted asparagus.
- SALAD. Soup and salads are a match made in heaven! I love pairing this Butternut Squash Soup with Fall Salad, Apple Salad, or Pear Salad.
Is butternut squash soup good for you?
Yes! Butternut Squash is not only is low in calories and low in carbs, but it is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as magnesium, fiber, potassium, vitamins A & C. Butternut squash also contains many great antioxidants that help to lower and maintain sugar and insulin levels.
LOOKING FOR MORE CREAMY SOUP RECIPES?
- White Chicken Lasagna Soup
- Loaded Zuppa Toscana
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup
- Creamy Basil Parmesan Italian Soup
- New England Clam Chowder
- Bacon Ranch Chicken Chowder
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice Soup
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