One of the best parts of fall and winter is the ample assortment of seasonal produce. Among our personal favorites: butternut squash. This variety is flavorful and easy to find at your local grocery store. Plus, it’ll last for ages in your pantry.
Want more ideas? Check out these butternut squash recipes.
Before You Begin: Prep Tips
How do you pick a good butternut squash?
When you’re at the grocery store, look for a squash that has an even color and no deep cuts, scratches or marks. (A few blemishes on the skin are fine—you’re going to peel it, after all.) Butternut squash come in all shapes and sizes, but you want to pick one that feels heavy. Finally, gently squeeze your way around the squash. It should be very hard with no noticeable soft spots.
What’s the best way to cut a butternut squash?
Since it’s so hard, butternut squash is notoriously difficult to cut. First things first, peel the skin off of your squash. (We like this vegetable peeler.) Pat the surface dry, then use a sharp chef’s knife to remove the stem. Then, cut the neck of the squash into 1-inch rounds. For the bulbous part of the squash, chop it directly in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. (Either discard them or roast like pumpkin seeds for an easy, healthy snack.) Finally, cut the squash into cubes.
How to Make Easy Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium butternut squash (3 pounds), peeled and cubed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Crispy sage leaves, optional
Step 1: Saute onion and garlic
Get started by heating the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. (We happen to love this one.) Add the onion, then cook and stir until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Step 2: Simmer the squash
Once the veggies are tender and aromatic, stir in the squash, broth, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3: Puree the soup
Once the squash is tender, it’s time to puree the soup. You can use an immersion blender and puree the soup right in the pot. Or, cool the soup slightly and puree it in batches in a standard blender.
Step 4: Add the cream
Return the pureed soup to the pan and add the cream. Cook and stir until heated through.
Editor’s tip: If your soup is looking a little thin after pureeing, we suggest making a roux by whisking together two tablespoons of olive oil with two tablespoons of flour. Once the roux is smooth, whisk in a few tablespoons of soup to make a slurry, then stir the mixture into the soup pot. Cook the soup for 10 to 15 more minutes or until thickened.
Step 5: Garnish and serve
Serve soup in bowls and, if desired, garnish with additional heavy whipping cream and crispy sage.
Editor’s tip: In addition to—or in place of—the whipping cream and crispy sage, you can garnish this simple butternut squash soup with a multitude of tasty toppings. We love to add pepitas, homemade croutons, cheese (Gruyere and Parmesan are two great choices), creme fraiche or chopped pecans to our bowl. Feel free to get creative!
More Tips and Tricks
What other foods go well with butternut squash soup?
Butternut squash soup works as both a starter and a main dish, so you may be wondering: what vegetables go well with butternut squash soup? And what meat goes well with butternut squash soup? Luckily, you have a lot of options.
When it comes to vegetables, we suggest pairing butternut squash soup with other root veggies, like roasted potatoes or beets. You could also serve it with dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. When it comes to meat, turkey recipes are a great choice. (There’s a reason you often see butternut squash soup on Thanksgiving menus!) But chicken and pork taste great with it, too. Round out your meal with some homemade bread or rolls.
Is butternut squash soup good for you?
Yes! When prepared as directed, this soup has just 157 calories, 7 grams of fat and 23 grams of carbs per serving. Plus, butternut squash is full of vitamins A and C, among other nutrients. If you want to make this soup even healthier, you could stir in Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream to boost the protein.
Can you freeze butternut squash soup?
You bet! Just hold off on adding the heavy cream until after you’re reheated the leftovers. Dairy has a tendency to curdle or take on a grainy texture when reheated. For more information, check out our complete guide to how to freeze soups.