The best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe! Creamy, nourishing, and delicious, this naturally vegetarian and gluten-free butternut squash soup is everyone’s favorite fall comfort food. Learn how to make on the stovetop or slow cooker.
The Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
When I think about happiness, I think about this butternut squash soup.
Of course, I think about other things, too. Things like my child’s deep belly laugh; his quiet, calm breathing as he sleeps; and the travel adventures that have taken me all over the world.
But this soup? It’s like falling into a soft cloud of warm pillowy hugs.
No exaggeration, this is my all-time favorite soup. It is my happy place. And it’s the one soup that I make over and over and over again and never get tired of eating.
Made almost entirely from vegetables, this easy butternut squash soup recipe is filled with things like carrots, onion, apples, sweet potato, butternut squash (of course), and is flavored with fresh garlic cloves and ginger. Simple healthy ingredients loaded with the most pleasant and unexpected flavor.
First time cooking butternut squash? Check out, All About Butternut Squash: How to Pick, Peel, and Prepare for Cooking!
Can’t find butternut squash at your local grocery store? Try making this soup with pumpkin instead. The result will be a pumpkin soup nearly identical in taste and texture to this easy and delicious butternut squash version.
Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
Firstly, I should mention that you will need a large pot to make this yummy soup. This is the pot that I own – it’s 13.25 quarts and my all-time favorite soup pot.
If you prefer to make less soup, simply cut the ingredients in half.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onions
- Sweet potatoes
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger
- Butternut Squash
- Salt and Black pepper
- Water or Broth (chicken broth, vegetable stock, etc).
- Cream, half and half, or coconut milk (all optional)
- Your favorite toppings
- Cheese – shredded mozzarella is my favorite
- Nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or even sesame seeds
- Croutons – either homemade or store-bought
- Pomegranate arils
- Sprigs of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary
- Drizzle with additional cream or half and half
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
How much butternut squash will you need?
You will need two medium or one really large butternut squash to make this recipe. The exact weight or amount isn’t super important, however, I always buy extra rather than less since I love having extra soup to reheat the next day.
Read my tutorial all about how to pick a good butternut squash here. You may also buy pre-cut butternut squash from your local market or if you’re in a crazy hurry use canned.
Feel free to include what you love and leave out what you don’t – This is my classic, butternut squash soup base recipe. I love the extra flavor from all the other, added veggies. Onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and ginger (mirepoix) are always included. These vegetables are sauteed first before being boiled and pureed. Sautéing contributes loads of sweet and savory notes to the soup.
The sweet potatoes and apples are optional.
Add cauliflower to cut out carbs and add extra veggies. Or, add a regular russet or Yukon gold potato in place of the sweet potato.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
There are three different ways to make butternut squash soup – stovetop (my preferred method), slow cooker, and Instant Pot.
Each method is great, but you’ll always find me making this easy recipe in a large pot on my stovetop. Why? I get the largest quantity using this method. Given my love for leftovers, this makes sense.
Should you choose to make your butternut squash soup in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, you will need to cut the recipe amount in half.
Let’s start with how to make butternut squash soup on the stovetop –
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until the onions soften and turn translucent (this one step adds loads of extra flavor!). Add the carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes and mix well to combine with the onion. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
- After approximately 10 minutes or so, once the root vegetables have had a chance to soften slightly, stir in the minced garlic and ginger and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Add the chopped apples and butternut squash, mixing well to combine.
- Add the water or vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow the vegetables to simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft and mushy.
- Once all the vegetables have softened, remove from heat and grab your best blender, food processor, or immersion blender. Working in batches, fill your blender about half full with the butternut squash and broth mixture and blend until completely pureed. Pour your pureed soup into a new pot. Repeat until all the vegetables have been pureed into soup.
- Heat soup over low heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup of half-and-half and season with salt, pepper, and additional cream to taste. Stir often to prevent the soup from burning.
- Serve with all your favorite toppings (see above for suggestions).
How to Cook Butternut Squash Soup in the Slow Cooker
To make this butternut squash soup in the slow cooker,
- Divide the ingredient amount listed in the recipe card in half.
- Chop the vegetables and apples into large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and ginger.
- Transfer the vegetables, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, and broth to a large slow cooker (at least 6-quarts).
- Cook until all vegetables are soft and tender, approximately 6-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.
- Stir in the half-and-half or creamer and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Or, transfer to a large blender and blend it there.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with all your favorite toppings!
Can I Add Roasted Butternut Squash?
Absolutely! Roasting gives winter squash even more incredible flavor.
Here’s how to roast butternut squash,
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a large, sturdy knife to cut ends from the butternut squash. Next, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to slice the skin from the butternut squash by holding one end of the squash with one hand and slicing with the vegetable peeler in the other. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits from each half and discard the seeds (or save for roasting). Flip each half over so that it is cut-side-down and cut the squash into small cubes.
- Transfer butternut squash cubes to a large mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs (o other seasonings), if desired.
- Transfer the butternut squash to a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness.
I probably stick with this classic, simple, never-boring butternut squash soup recipe at least 90% of the time because it’s just that good.
That said, one of the best parts about this recipe is how easy it is to transform and play with different flavors. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Optional Seasonings and Spices:
- Taco Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning…yes!
- Ground cinnamon
- Chili Powder or cayenne pepper
- Honey or Brown sugar
- Curry powder
- Miso Coconut Butternut Squash Soup – Roasted and caramelized butternut squash, creamy coconut milk, and salty miso creates a smooth, creamy, and gluten-free vegetable-filled soup.
- Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup – One of the most classic butternut soup combinations, this delicious recipe is made with roasted butternut squash, black beans, and flavorful taco seasoning.
- Lentil Butternut Stew! Just a few of the reasons why this butternut squash soup is so fantastic.
- Chunky Vegetarian Butternut Chili – Not all soups need to be creamy.
- Spicy Thai Ramen Butternut Squash Soup – It’s a real thing and it’s delicious.
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup – roasted butternut squash covered in warming curry spices.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep this soup vegan and dairy-free by skipping the half-and-half or cream. Use coconut milk instead.
- Save time by purchasing pre-chopped butternut squash from the market. You will need approximately 8 cups.
- This recipe makes a lot of butternut squash soup – enough to feed my husband and me for at least 3-4 nights (without any heavy sides) and we eat a lot.
- Always take care when blending hot soup – no matter the blending method.
- Save the seeds from your butternut squash and roast them for a tasty snack (or delicious soup topper).
- Add a little spice with a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper.
How to Store Leftovers
To store leftover butternut squash soup,
- In the refrigerator – Stored in the refrigerator and reheated properly, you may enjoy leftover butternut squash soup for up to 7 days. You may need to add a cup or two of water or stock when reheating.
- In the freezer – Allow soup to cool before transferring to freezer-safe ziplock bags or storage containers. Remove as much air as possible. Lay flat on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer (stacking multiple bags, one on top of the other, if necessary). Allow soup to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or transfer to a bowl filled with warm water for faster thawing. Best enjoyed within 4 months.
If you try making this Butternut Squash Soup, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
More Butternut Squash Recipes,
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Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
- 4 stalks celery (chopped)
- 5 carrots (chopped)
- 2 small sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled, roughly chopped and smashed)
- 2 apples (cored and diced)
- 2 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water or low-sodium chicken broth (plus more as needed))
- 1/2 cup half and half ( (note 1))
- Optional Toppings (Homemade Croutons, cheese, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, everything-but-the-bagel seasoning, bacon, etc.)
Stove Top Method
- Cook the root vegetables - Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until the onions soften and turn translucent. Add the carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes and mix well to combine with the onion. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the apples and butternut squash - After approximately 10 minutes or so, after the root vegetables have had a chance to soften slightly, stir in the minced garlic and ginger and sautè for approximately 1 minute. Add the chopped apples and butternut squash, mixing well to combine.
- Add the broth and simmer - Add the water or vegetable broth to the pot (note 2) and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow vegetables to simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft and mushy (note 3).
- Blend soup - Once all the vegetables have softened, remove from heat and grab your best blender, food processor, or immersion blender (note 4+5). Working in batches, fill your blender approximately half full with the butternut squash and broth mixture and blend until completely pureed. Pour your pureed soup into a new pot. Repeat until all the vegetables have been pureed into soup.
- Season to taste -Turn the pot with your pureed soup on low heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup half-and-half and season with salt, pepper, and additional cream to taste. Stir often to prevent soup from burning.
- Serve - Serve with all your favorite toppings including homemade croutons, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fresh herbs, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or pomegranate arils, if desired.
Slow Cooker Method
- Divide the ingredient amount listed in the recipe card in half.
- Prepare vegetables – Chop the vegetables and apples into large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and ginger.
- Transfer to a large slow cooker – Transfer the vegetables, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, and broth to a large slow cooker(at least 6-quarts).
- Cook until tender – Cook until all vegetables are soft and tender, approximately 6-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.
- Blend – Stir in the half-and-half or creamer and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Or, transfer to a large blender and blend it there.
- Season to taste and serve – Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with all your favorite toppings!
- If you plan to cook this recipe in your slow cooker, half the recipe so that it will fit into a 6-quart pot.
- You may use any creamer you like or no creamer at all. It's entirely up to you. Delicious additions include half and half, heavy cream, or coconut milk.
- The broth or water should reach just below the top of the chopped veggies - in other words enough for all the vegetables to simmer in the broth, but not so much that they are swimming in it.
- For soups like this one, you can't really overcook your vegetables, so no need to set a timer for 30 minutes exactly. As long as all your vegetables are nice and mushy, you're good to go.
- You may want to let your vegetables and broth cool slightly before blending. If you're in a hurry, make sure to only fill your blender halfway and pulse before blending. If your mixture is too thick or you're having trouble blending, don't hesitate to add more vegetable broth or chicken stock until you reach your desired consistency.
- Soup will thicken after cooling. Add additional vegetable broth or water as needed to reach the desired thickness when reheating.
- Nutrition information does not include suggested toppings.
- Optional toppings include:
- Homemade Croutons
- Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
- Fresh herbs
- Nuts and Seeds (pepitas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
- Everything-but-the-bagel seasoning
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)