A creamy butternut squash soup is easy to throw together for fall. Garnished with toasted pepitas, dried cranberries, and fried sage, this silky smooth soup, with hints of apple and cinnamon, is perfect for cool autumn nights.
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I will have failed you as a food blogger if I had not posted at least one fall soup. So here is my attempt of jumping on the bandwagon. I will admit, I’m not the biggest advocate for pumpkin this or pumpkin that, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate fall flavors and I think I accomplish this with this creamy butternut squash soup!
How To Make An Easy Butternut Squash Soup
I love butternut squash soup because it’s so sweet for a vegetable but it fits into so many savory applications. It’s also a creamy vegetable! And best of all, it’s a super vegetable; the sky is the limit as to how you can use this wonderful squash (like this killer roasted butternut squash pizza). Without much delay, let me tell you how to make this amazing soup!
Since the star of this soup is butternut squash, I really wanted each of the ingredients to have a purpose in lending maximum flavor. Here is what you’ll need:
- Butternut squash
- Vegetable stock
- A sachet of spices (parsley, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and chile flake)
- Apple cider
Making a Neutral Vegetable Stock For Butternut Squash Soup
I truly believe that this soup gets a lot of it flavor (though it’s subtle) from the liquid that is used to cook it. With this soup, I wanted to keep true to its vegetable origin so I opted to use vegetable stock to cook the soup.
If you don’t really care, you can also use chicken stock; that works well too. However, if you are interested in learning how to make a veggie stock at home, it’s super easy! Let me walk you through it!
The day I made this stock, I was also making a bunch of baby food (can we just pause and mourn for a moment that my baby is now eating real people food???) that happened to be a bit more on the neutral side of flavors.
I decided that instead of throwing away all of the scraps, I would save them and make a stock. It’s important to use pretty neutral flavors while making stock, here’s the scraps I used: carrot peels, parsnip peels, rutabaga scraps, turnip scraps, broccoli scraps, shallot peels.
I also threw in two bay leaves, some parsley stems, and black peppercorns. I filled the pot with water and just let it slowly cook over the course of the day. When I was ready to use my stock, I simply just strained my stock over the veggies. Done!
Now, why didn’t I suggest vegetable stock from the store? See, a lot of vegetable stocks at the stores have tomato products in them and I didn’t want that in my soup. You can definitely feel free to scour your local grocery store and find a vegetable stock without tomato in it. But if you’re making this soup, you already have scraps from the shallots, carrots, and parsnips, so why not?
How Do You Peel Butternut Squash to Make Soup
People often make this a whole lot harder than it really is. The skin on butternut squash is not terribly thick and can be taken off with a regular peeler. I happen to like this one particularly because it has seen me through about 5 different professional kitchens and I still use it to this day.
Once the butternut squash is peeled, I cut right where the squash bulbs out because that’s where the seeds usually are. After scooping out the seeds, I just cut the squash into big chunks and call it a day.
Cooking the Soup
The base of every good soup is a set of vegetables that build the foundation of the soup. This is called a mirepoix. Typically mirepoix consists of onion, carrots, and celery. For this soup, I swapped out the celery for parsnips because I really wanted the sweetness from the parsnips to be present in this soup.
After sauteeing these vegetables together for a bit, I then add my butternut squash, along with my sachet of spices and my cooking liquid (i.e. vegetable stock). I also add a secret weapon: apple cider.
Apple cider is my most favorite thing about fall and with the spices found in apple cider, it’s enough to give a hint of flavor to the soup. Absolutely perfect.
Blending the Butternut Squash Soup
Once the butternut squash has softened in the soup, it’s time to blend. Because I like a silky smooth soup, most of the time.
As a matter of blending your soup, you can go a few different routes:
*Each of these pieces of equipment has their virtues and unless you have a Vitamix at home, I’m not going to be a huge pusher of using the standing blender (if you do, though, kudos!!!). I used my Calphalon Immersion Blender as a matter of convenience because I don’t have to ladle any hot liquid into anything, I can just blend right in the pot! Super easy.
To get my super smooth soup, I just pass my blended soup through a fine strainer. This gets rid of any little bits that didn’t puree all the way. The result, a super smooth and silky soup.*
I have since acquired a Vitamix (and I have always been a huge fan of this blender) and believe that using a high-powered blender is the ultimate way to get a super smooth consistency to your soup. If you don’t have a blender that fits that bill, feel free to use the technique above.
After the soup is blended, I then season the soup with honey (for added sweetness) and add the cream at this step.
Now for my vegan friends, don’t feel like you can’t have this soup because of the cream I add at the end, just omit it.
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe makes a ton of soup so don’t feel like you have committed yourself to eat nothing but soup for the next week.
If you would like to freeze the soup, I would freeze it in quart-sized baggies before adding the cream. When you reheat the soup, I would then add a splash of cream when the soup was hot just to avoid any curdling.
I hope that all of you enjoy this delicious soup! I very much like a good bowl of butternut squash soup and think it fits fall amazingly. I would love to hear if you have enjoyed this soup as well down below in the comments along with a rating!
Here are other delicious soups to try:
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- 2 each medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 each carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 each parsnips, peeled and chunked
- 2 each shallots, peeled and chunked
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 cup spiced apple cider
- To taste salt and pepper
- 1 pint cream
- ¼ cup honey
Sachet of Spices
- ½ bunch parsley stems
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tablespoon peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon chile flake
- ¼ ounce fresh tyme
- Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Dried cranberries
- Fried sage
- Sauté carrots, parsnips, and shallots in olive oil, seasoned with olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock and apple cider to the pot, as well as a sachet and cook until all vegetables are tender about 30 minutes.
- Blend soup and pass through a strainer to get a super smooth soup.
- Season soup with salt and pepper, honey and finish with cream. Garnish with dried cranberries, fried sage, and toasted pepitas
To make your own vegetable stock, place vegetable scraps in a large stockpot and add water. Add aromatics like parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme. Allow boiling for 30 minutes and cool.
To make fried sage, add about 1 cup oil to a medium-sized skillet and heat until rings appear at the bottom of the pan. Add sage leaves to the pan and allow to fry until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove from oil and allow to dry on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt.
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 276Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 45mgSodium 491mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 3gSugar 15gProtein 5g
This nutrition information is just an estimate.