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Butternut Squash Soup

There’s something undeniably comforting about a bowl of warm, creamy butternut squash soup. Its rich, velvety texture and sweet, nutty flavor make it a favorite in American kitchens, especially during the chillier months.

But beyond its delicious taste, this soup is a versatile dish, easily adaptable to various dietary preferences and flavor profiles.

Butternut squash, with its vibrant orange flesh and sweet flavor, has a storied history in culinary traditions. Originally cultivated in America, it has become a staple ingredient in kitchens worldwide.

Its journey from a humble garden vegetable to a star component in soups reflects its versatility and universal appeal.

The key to a great butternut squash soup starts with selecting the perfect squash. Look for one that feels heavy for its size, with a solid beige color and no soft spots.

The skin should be matte, not shiny, indicating ripeness and a sweeter, more concentrated flavor – essential for a soup that’s rich in taste and texture.


Each ingredient in this butternut squash soup recipe plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): A healthy, flavorful base for sautéing vegetables.
  • Butternut Squash (3 pounds, peeled and chopped): The star of the show, providing a sweet, nutty flavor and creamy texture.
  • Onion (1 large, chopped): Adds depth and sweetness to the soup.
  • Bell Pepper (1 large, chopped): For a mild, sweet flavor. You can opt for jalapeno or hotter peppers for a spicy kick.
  • Celery (1 stalk, chopped): Contributes a subtle, earthy flavor.
  • Garlic (5 cloves, chopped): A must for its aromatic and flavor-enhancing properties.
  • Paprika (2 tablespoons): For warmth and color. Hot paprika adds a spicy depth.
  • Fresh Thyme (1 tablespoon): Adds a light, herby touch.
  • Fresh Rosemary (1 tablespoon): Its piney aroma complements the squash beautifully.
  • Cayenne Pepper (1 teaspoon): Just enough for a hint of heat.
  • Cumin (1 teaspoon): Brings a warm, earthy spice.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste, for seasoning.
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock (4 cups): Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version. The amount can be adjusted for desired soup thickness.
  • Garnishes: Toasted pepitas, red chili flakes, and fresh chopped parsley add texture and a pop of color.

Each ingredient not only contributes to the flavor profile but also brings nutritional benefits, making this soup a wholesome choice for any meal.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide:

  1. Begin with the Base: Start by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. This forms the foundation of your soup, where flavors start to build.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables: Add the peeled and chopped butternut squash, along with the chopped onion, bell pepper (or your choice of spicier peppers), and celery. A sprinkle of salt here not only seasons the vegetables but also helps draw out moisture, aiding in the caramelization process. Stir occasionally and cook for about 10-12 minutes. You’re looking for the vegetables to soften and start to develop a slight golden color at the bottom of the pot, which is key to layering flavors.
  3. Introduce Garlic and Spices: Now, stir in the chopped garlic, two tablespoons of paprika, one tablespoon each of fresh thyme and rosemary, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon of cumin. Cooking the spices for about 2 minutes allows them to bloom, releasing their aromatic oils and infusing the vegetables with depth and warmth.
  4. Add the Stock and Simmer: Pour in four cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. This slow cooking process is crucial as it allows the flavors to meld together and the squash to become perfectly tender. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the ingredients are soft and infused with flavor.
  5. Taste and Adjust: After the simmering process, it’s important to taste your soup and adjust the seasoning. This might mean adding a bit more salt, a pinch of pepper, or even an extra dash of spices, depending on your preference. Remember, seasoning is key to elevating the flavors in your soup.
  6. Blend to Perfection: Once your vegetables are tender, it’s time to blend. If you have an immersion blender, you can do this directly in the pot, blending until the soup reaches a smooth, creamy consistency. If you’re using a regular blender or food processor, carefully transfer the soup in batches, blend until smooth, and then return it to the pot. This step is what transforms your mixture into a velvety soup.
  7. Final Adjustments: After blending, give your soup a final taste. You can adjust the thickness by adding a bit more stock or water if it’s too thick. If you’ve opted for a spicier version, now is the time to ensure it has just the right amount of heat.

Garnishing and Serving:

  • Garnish for Flair and Flavor: The final step in creating your butternut squash soup masterpiece is the garnish. Sprinkle toasted pepitas over each serving for a delightful crunch. A dash of red chili flakes can add a pop of color and a hint of heat, while fresh chopped parsley brings a burst of freshness and a vibrant green contrast. These garnishes not only enhance the flavor but also add a visual appeal to your dish.
  • Serving the Soup: This soup is versatile when it comes to serving. It can be a warming starter for a dinner party or a satisfying main course for a cozy family meal. Serve it hot, directly from the stove, ensuring each bowl is filled with the creamy, rich soup and topped with the chosen garnishes.

Pairing with Sides:

  • Complementary Sides: Consider pairing the soup with crusty bread or a light salad for a complete meal. The bread is perfect for dipping and soaking up the last bits of soup, while a salad with a tangy dressing can balance the creaminess of the soup.
  • Wine Pairing: If you’re including this soup in a more formal meal, a glass of Chardonnay or a light Pinot Noir can complement its rich and creamy texture.

Storing and Reheating:

  • Storing Leftovers: If you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure to use an airtight container to retain the soup’s flavor and freshness.
  • Reheating: When reheating, simply warm the soup over medium heat on the stove. If the soup has thickened in the fridge, you can add a little water or stock to reach your desired consistency.
  • Freezing for Later: This soup also freezes well. Pour it into freezer-safe containers and store for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as needed.


  • Calories: Approximately 171 kcal per serving.
  • Carbohydrates: 29g – Provides energy and fiber.
  • Protein: 6g – Essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Fat: 6g – Includes 1g saturated fat, 1g polyunsaturated fat, and 3g monounsaturated fat.
  • Cholesterol: 4mg – Minimal amount, making it heart-friendly.
  • Sodium: 186mg – A moderate amount for flavor.
  • Potassium: 853mg – Great for heart health and blood pressure regulation.
  • Fiber: 5g – Beneficial for digestive health.
  • Sugar: 7g – Naturally occurring sugars from the squash.
  • Vitamin A: 19592 IU – Excellent for vision and immune function.
  • Vitamin C: 58mg – Supports immunity and skin health.
  • Calcium: 106mg – Important for bone health.
  • Iron: 2mg – Essential for blood health and energy levels.

This nutritional breakdown showcases the health benefits of this butternut squash soup, making it not only a tasty choice but also a nutritious one.

Butternut squash soup is more than just a dish; it’s a comforting embrace in a bowl. Its creamy texture, rich flavors, and nutritional benefits make it a favorite for many.

Whether you’re serving it on a cold winter night or as part of a special meal, this soup is sure to delight your taste buds and warm your heart.