This butternut squash soup recipe is thick, healthy, and naturally sweet. There's no roasting necessary, so this perfectly cozy and warming fall soup is on the table fast!
If you'd prefer to make it in your pressure cooker, try my Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.
Why you'll love it
Well, it's just about time to start making all the fall recipes! Even though I'm a summer girl at heart, I always look forward to making my version of this classic soup. It's just so comforting, and the hint of coconut milk makes the texture extra silky and tastes sooo good. There's nothing basic about the flavors here, but the technique sure is, which sets mine apart from some others.
A lot of recipes for butternut squash soup out there require that you roast the squash first, but you don't actually need to do that to get the warm and sweet, nutty, and quintessentially fall flavors of it. I think my way is butternut squash soup as it should be, and that's simple and fuss-free and with no unnecessary steps, which means fewer dishes and a quicker soup without sacrificing taste.
What you'll need
- Butternut squash - these babies start appearing on the shelves in September and are the star of this soup. Get one that's dark beige, feels heavy for its size, and doesn't have blemishes or cuts.
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Onion and garlic - the base aromatics to add savory depth. I like sweet (Vidalia) onions best.
- Carrot - for more natural veggie sweetness
- Potatoes - I like using a Russet potato. They're starchy, which means they work great to thicken up this soup
- Chicken broth - for another savory layer
- Cinnamon and nutmeg - these warm spices round out the autumn flavors and will make your kitchen smell amazing
- Coconut milk - I used a small can of the full-fat variety from Thai Kitchen. The coconut taste really complements the squash. Trust me!
Can this soup be made vegetarian or vegan?
- Absolutely. Simply use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian, and omit the butter altogether if you want a vegan butternut squash soup. That means this versatile soup can be altered easily so that everyone at your Thanksgiving table can enjoy it!
How to peel butternut squash
- Peeling squash isn't my favorite thing in the world, but from trial and error I've found that using a sharp knife is the best way. The peel is very thick, so your standard potato peeler isn't too effective.
- Once I cut the squash in half and then into quarters, I just use the knife to cut the peel off. I ensure the chunks are stable on the cutting board so I don't cut myself.
- Or you can be more precise and peel it with a knife like you'd peel an apple, more like into ribbons slowly.
- With this soup, I err on the side of caution and add less liquid to start with. It's always easy to add more when you're in the blending stage. The potato helps make this soup thicker and more hearty. It's a nice little trick you can use to easily help thicken blended soups like this one. But you can go ahead and add more broth if it's looking too thick.
How to make butternut squash soup
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- First, prep the squash, carrot, potato, and onion. Sauté the onion for a few minutes in a soup pot in the oil and butter until it starts to lightly brown. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the chopped squash, carrot, potato, broth, and cinnamon and nutmeg to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it with the lid slightly open until the veggies are very tender.
- Blend the soup (either with an immersion blender or a regular blender in batches) until smooth, and then stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt & pepper generously.
Substitutions and variations
- Want to add a little zip to the soup? Grate in some fresh ginger!
- You can buy pre-cut butternut squash to save time or if you're unable to peel a whole squash. I'd aim for closer to 3 pounds than 4 since once you peel the squash, the actual edible parts will weigh less than the suggested 4 pounds of whole squash.
- You don't have to discard the squash seeds. Try roasting them like in this Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds (5 Ways) Recipe and then using them as a crunchy garnish on this soup!
What to serve with butternut squash soup
- Try a couple slices of fresh bread (sourdough or a baguette is perfect), some Cheesy Garlic Bread, or top with some Homemade Croutons. It's also great with a grilled cheese sandwich to dip into it.
- For the soup and salad combo, try mixed greens with my Italian Salad Dressing.
- It is a fantastic make ahead soup as a starter for Thanksgiving or Christmas to tide your guests over. Try it along with my other holiday recipes.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- You can definitely freeze butternut squash soup. It freezes well for up to 3 months. I like to store it in individual portions for ease.
- Warm it up on the stove over a low heat for best results, giving it the occasional stir.
I hope you'll give this easy butternut squash soup a try! Questions, or want to leave a review? Let me know in the comments below. You can also find me on Instagram.
Simple Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded, & cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large carrot peeled & sliced
- 1 large Russet potato peeled & diced
- 3 cups chicken or veggie broth (and more if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 (5.4 ounce) can coconut milk (I used full fat)
- Prep your squash (cut it into roughly 1.5" pieces), onion, carrot, and potato. To easily peel the squash, I cut it into quarters and carefully use a knife to cut the peel off since it's thick, and I find potato peelers don't the best job.
- Add the oil and butter to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, followed by the carrot, potato, squash, broth, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. The liquid likely won't completely cover everything, and that's fine.
- Once it's boiling, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Reduce the heat so it's simmering but not boiling furiously. Cook until the veggies are soft (easily pierced with a knife), about 15-20 minutes depending how large you cut everything.
- Blend the soup using either an immersion blender (that's what I used) or a regular blender. You may want to let the soup cool for a while first.
- Stir in the coconut milk and season with salt & pepper to taste (I was pretty generous with both - I'd start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add more if needed). If you find the soup is still too thick after adding the coconut milk, stir in 1/2 cup of broth at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
- I used one of those tiny cans of Thai Kitchen coconut milk. If you can't find a small can, use 1/2 of a regular size can. You can leave out the coconut milk if you wish, but I like the added silkiness and coconut flavor it adds.
- I usually end up buying two smaller squashes because I can't always find one that's around 4 pounds. If using pre-cut squash, aim for closer to 3 lbs. than 4.
- Want to make this in your Instant Pot? Here's the recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.