Butternut Squash Soup
Published Nov 08, 2023, Updated Nov 30, 2023
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This butternut squash soup is super creamy and easy to make! It combines butternut squash with coconut milk, carrots, fresh ginger and sage for a delicious and comforting fall meal.
This butternut squash soup is packed with flavor and I mean packed! The butternut squash is paired with ginger, apple and fresh sage for a lovely flavor explosion in your mouth that you will never want to end.
This is one of my favorite fall soups to make that’s so comforting and delicious. I lover serving it with crusty bread for a light lunch or for dinner paired with a protein and a salad for a full meal.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Soup
- Ingredients Needed
- How to Make
- Recipe Tips
- Substitutions & Variations
- Tips for Choosing the Best Butternut Squash
- How to Peel and Chop Butternut Squash
- How to Blend Butternut Squash Soup
- What to Serve with Butternut Squash Soup
- How to Store Leftovers
- More Soup Recipes to Try
- More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- Healthy and delicious – It’s packed with vegetables and tons of flavor from all the herbs and spices, which makes it nutritious and super flavorful!
- Dairy-free and vegan – This soup is extra creamy without using any dairy thanks to the butternut squash and coconut milk, making this a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
- Meal prep – One pot makes big batch of soup so you can meal prep the soup over the weekend and have a healthy dinner ready for a few nights!
- butternut squash – the star of the recipe! You’ll need 1 medium-sized whole butternut squash for this soup. Look for a squash that is heavy for its size, has smooth, firm skin without many cuts or bruising. The bigger the base of the squash, the more seeds there will be.
- carrots, yellow onion and garlic cloves – the additional veggies in this soup that add nutrients and flavor!
- apple – adds a subtle sweetness and touch of tartness to this soup. You can use any variety of apple you prefer, but I typically use Honeycrisp or Pink Lady. I usually peel my apple for this recipe, but you can leave the skin on if you prefer. The skin will soften as it simmers!
- fresh ginger – for some zest and spice! I love using fresh ginger for the best flavor, but you can use dried ground ginger if that’s all you have on hand. You’ll only need about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger in place of the fresh ginger.
- fresh sage – adds a refreshing, earthy note, balancing out the soup’s flavors. You can also use dried sage if that’s what you have on hand. Use 1 teaspoon dried sage for every 1 Tablespoon fresh sage.
- vegetable broth – brings plenty of flavor and acts as the base for the soup. I typically opt for low-sodium vegetable broth so I can control the amount of sodium in my soup.
- coconut milk – this contributes to the creamy texture of the soup and the flavor pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of the butternut squash. I used full-fat coconut milk, but feel free to use light coconut milk if you prefer.
- olive oil – for sautéing the veggies. Feel free to use butter or another neutral oil instead.
- seasonings and spices – turmeric, ground nutmeg, cayenne (optional), sea salt and black pepper.
How to Make
This easy butternut squash soup recipe comes together quickly. Here’s how to make it:
Sauté vegetables – Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or large soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion, carrots and apple to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Add salt, turmeric, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne (if using). Cook another minute, stirring constantly.
Add squash and simmer – Add squash, sage, vegetable broth and coconut milk to the pot. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Blend – Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency. If you do not have an immersion blender you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth.
Serve: Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. To serve, ladle into bowls and serve with toppings and sides of choice. See some ideas below!
- Choose the right squash: When picking out squash look for one that is heavy for its size, has smooth, firm skin without many cuts or bruising.
- Use pre-cut squash: To save time, buy pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store or use frozen butternut squash cubes!
- Using a blender: If you’re using a blender to puree this soup make sure you let it cool slightly and blend in batches! If you let the soup cool down before blending, place it back on the stove on low heat for a few minutes to warm it up before serving.
- Adjust the consistency: If you want thinner soup, add more broth to thin it out. If you prefer thicker soup use less broth!
Substitutions & Variations
- Butternut squash: This is obviously the star of the show, but if you can’t find any or want to try something else, you could use fresh sugar/pie pumpkin or sweet potatoes!
- Coconut milk: I like using coconut milk for this recipe because it’s so creamy and the flavor pairs nicely, but you could use another dairy-free milk in its place if needed. You can also use heavy cream if you don’t need this soup to be vegan/vegetarian.
- Vegetable broth: Feel free to use chicken broth, chicken stock or bone broth if you don’t need this soup to be vegan!
- Spices: Feel free to switch up the spices if you want! You could swap the ground nutmeg with ground cinnamon, skip the cayenne pepper (or add more for extra spice!), add curry powder for a curry butternut squash soup. Feel free to make this recipe your own!
- Roast your veggies: For an added depth of flavor you can roast your butternut squash, carrots and onion until tender before adding them to the soup.
- Add grains: To make this soup heartier you could add some grains like rice, quinoa or farro.
- Add protein: If you want to add some protein to this soup add some cooked lentils, chickpeas or white beans when serving.
- Toppings: Feel free to get creative here! I love serving my butternut squash soup with a drizzle of coconut milk, pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) and a crack of fresh black pepper. Some other topping ideas include: freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh sage, rosemary or thyme, crispy air fryer chickpeas, toasted nuts, candied pecans or sourdough croutons.
Tips for Choosing the Best Butternut Squash
When selecting the perfect butternut squash, opt for one that feels heavy for its size, indicating a fresh, moist interior. The skin should be smooth and uniformly beige, free of cuts or soft spots, with a matte finish suggesting ripeness. A gentle tap should produce a hollow sound, a sign of maturity. Smaller squashes often yield a sweeter taste and tender texture, ideal for a variety of recipes. Keep in mind that butternut squash is at its peak from early fall to winter, so choosing in-season produce can enhance the flavor and quality of your dishes.
How to Peel and Chop Butternut Squash
If you’ve never cooked with butternut squash before, prepping is the hardest part! While it is technically edible, butternut squash’s skin is pretty tough so it’s typically recommended that you peel it before roasting.
Here are my tips to make the peeling and chopping process less daunting.
Step 1: Using a vegetable peeler or knife, carefully peel the skin, getting as close to the end of the squash as possible. When peeling, stop when you get to the orange flesh, it’s usually only one layer.
Step 2: After peeling, cut the top and bottom of the squash and then cut the squash in half widthwise and lengthwise so the squash is quartered. Another option is to leave the neck of the squash whole and cut it into rounds, then stack up the round and cut them crosswise (twice) to create cubes.
Step 3: Use a spoon to scrape the seeds (and gunk) out of each half. Discard the seeds or save and roast them up for a snack. At this point you’re ready to chop the squash into cubes. I like to do 1/2-1 inch thick cubes. I try to cut them as even as possible so that they all finish cooking around the same time.
How to Blend Butternut Squash Soup
High powdered blender – This option is great if you prefer a completely smooth soup! If you’re using a blender, just blend in batches, making sure to not fill your blender past the maximum fill line and be extra careful because the soup will be hot!
Potato masher – This option is great if you prefer more of a chunky texture. Once your veggies are fork-tender use a potato masher to mash some of the veggies until you reach your desired texture.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash Soup
I love serving soup with some sides for some added volume and textures in my meal! My favorites are crusty whole-grain or sourdough bread, crackers (these almond flour crackers are great) or a side salad. You could also whip up a batch of vegan cornbread or pumpkin cornbread muffins!
If you want to go all-in on the butternut squash, you could serve it up with this roasted butternut squash salad.
Want to boost the protein of this soup? Top with roasted chickpeas or serve alongside any protein of your choice.
How to Store Leftovers
I love making soup for meal prep because you can make one pot and enjoy it for a few days. Here’s how to store this butternut squash soup:
- In the fridge: This soup keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Ensure it’s cooled down before transferring to an airtight container and placing it in the fridge.
- In the freezer: For longer storage, pour the cooled soup into freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Remember to leave some space at the top as the soup will expand when frozen.
- Reheating: When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen), then reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can also reheat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe container, stirring every 2 minutes to ensure even warming.
Yes, butternut squash is very healthy. It’s low in calories but high in many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
Yes, it’s typically recommended to peel butternut squash before making soup as the skin can be tough and fibrous, which may affect the soup’s texture.
Absolutely! Butternut squash soup freezes well. Cool the soup completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Curried Pumpkin Soup
- Instant Pot Garlic Lentil Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Mushroom Barley Soup
- Turkey Soup
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Butternut Squash Puree
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- How to Roast Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, about 1 ½ cups, chopped
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped (1 medium-sized squash)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned coconut milk, I used full-fat
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- additional coconut milk, roasted pepitas and fresh sage, for serving
- Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion, carrots and apple to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything begins to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Add salt, turmeric, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne (if using). Cook another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add squash, sage, vegetable broth and coconut milk to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 30-40 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree soup to a smooth consistency. If you do not have an immersion blender you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. This method will require a bit of cooling time and caution. If you let the soup cool down before blending, place it back on the stove on low heat for a few minutes to warm it up before serving.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with additional coconut milk (if desired), pepitas and black pepper.
- To save time, buy pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store or use frozen butternut squash cubes!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.