Butternut Squash Soup is the perfect way to warm up as the weather cools down. Made with apple, cinnamon, and a hint of spice, this soup recipe is loaded with flavor!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s delicious. All butternut soup recipes are not created equal. This one is lightly sweet, but with a mildly spicy kick, and the velvety texture makes it irresistible. It’s hard to stop taste-testing it as you go!
It’s allergy friendly. This soup is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and it’s made without nuts. If you need to bring a dish for a holiday meal, it would make a great starter course or side dish that you can keep warm in a slow cooker.
It’s flexible. You can make this recipe even easier by starting with store-bought bags of frozen squash, which come peeled and cubed for you already.
It’s nourishing. This recipe is a great way to sneak more nutrient-dense veggies into your life! When it’s blended to silky perfection, it tastes like something you’d buy at a restaurant, but it’s made with simple pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
It’s easy. Instead of roasting the butternut squash for this soup, you can skip the oven and cook it all in one pot on the stove top. When you use an immersion blender, you won’t have extra dishes to do later, either.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in butternut squash soup?
- Butternut squash
- Yellow onion
- Cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended!)
- Milk of choice
I used almond milk in this recipe, but you can also use oat milk, or coconut milk if you prefer a little more creaminess. The butternut squash creates a velvety texture on its own, so you don’t need much milk to create a “creamy” texture.
This recipe doesn’t call for vegetable broth, because water is a) easier and b) it doesn’t add any unwanted flavor to this delicate soup. Feel free to swap it out if you prefer using chicken stock or veggie broth, but be sure to cut-back on the salt in that case, since there will be extra sodium in the added broth.
Tip: If you do cut your own fresh butternut squash for this recipe (rather than using frozen or pre-cut butternut squash) be sure to save the seeds! Roasted squash seeds make an excellent soup topping or snack.
How to Make The Best Butternut Squash Soup
Pour the olive oil into a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and chopped apple until they start to soften, about 8 minutes.
Add the minced garlic cloves, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and stir for 1 more minute.
To the pot, add the water, cubed butternut squash, salt, and black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then cover the pot and lower the heat.
Cook at a gentle simmer until the squash is fork tender (meaning a fork can easily pierce the pieces), about 25 minutes.
When the soup is done cooking, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s smooth.
Or, you can carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Be sure to remove the vent cover in your blender’s lid, then cover it with a thin dish towel, so that steam can safely escape without splattering any hot liquid as it blends. You may need to blend this in batches, depending on the size of your blender.
Return the soup to the pot, and stir in the milk and maple syrup, for extra natural sweetness. Adjust any seasoning to taste, adding more salt, if needed. (I usually add an extra 1/2 teaspoon.)
Ladle the warm soup into bowls, and garnish it with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. For an extra-pretty look, you can also drizzle on a little heavy cream or coconut milk, and swirl it through the soup.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze soup for up to 3 months! It’s easily reheated on the stove top when you’re ready to serve again. Add a splash of water, if needed, to help thin it out again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to cut the squash? Use a sturdy vegetable peeler (like this one) to remove the outer squash peel. You may need to go over the squash more than once, to remove any green veins you see. Once the squash is peeled, use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch cubes. Try to keep the size of the squash uniform, so they will finish cooking at the same time.
Can I change the seasoning? If you prefer a spicier soup, try my Curried Butternut Squash Soup, which calls for curry powder, instead. You can also add a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme to this recipe, for extra Fall flavor, or any other fresh herbs you like. If you love fresh ginger, try adding up to 1 tablespoon when you saute the garlic and other spices.
Is this soup vegan? When you use a dairy-free milk, this recipe is vegan as written. Keep in mind that if you use chicken broth as the liquid, or add a dollop of sour cream as a garnish, it will no longer be vegan friendly.
Can I use the Instant Pot? Yes! Similar to my Instant Pot Curried Butternut Squash Soup recipe, you can cook this soup at high pressure for 15 minutes, and then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes after that. Since there is no evaporation with pressure cooking, you may want to start with only 3 cups water, and add more at the end, if you’d like to thin out the soup.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 1 large apple , cored and diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds butternut squash , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt , plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or oat milk)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat, and saute the onion and apple until softened, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic, cinnamon, and cayenne, and stir for 1 more minute.
- Add in the butternut squash, water, and salt, and stir to combine. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot to let the soup simmer until the squash is fork tender, about 25 minutes.
- When the squash is tender, add in the almond milk and maple syrup, and puree the soup with an immersion blender. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender and carefully blend it, with your blender vent lightly covered with a thin towel so the lid doesn't blow off– be careful not to burn yourself!)
- Taste the soup and adjust any seasoning to taste, adding freshly ground black pepper, along with more salt or maple syrup, as desired. (I usually add an extra ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt.) Serve warm, with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
- Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you try this butternut squash soup recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.
Questions and Reviews
I made this for dinner last night, and I already can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch today! Perfect seasoning.
I just made this in the Instant Pot using your suggestions, and it turned out perfectly. Thanks!
I generally make butternut squash soup about every 10 days in the IP. A lot of times I’ll make it as a butternut/carrot soup, too. I use a can of coconut milk in addition to any water, I find the apple makes it sweet enough for me so I don’t add any sugars, and I usually add pieces of ginger to it. I planned to make a pot of it today. I just opened my email and saw your recipes for the week and my curiosity was piqued to see what you might do differently in your recipe. Cayenne. I hadn’t thought of that as a spice to add so it’ll be nice to change it up and try this version.
This was so yummy. I used a Sweet Kabocha Squash and coconut milk as substitutions.
I added 1 Tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves, oat milk instead of almond and a 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice for brightness and some acidity and it was delicious.
Yummy soup, freezes well, my go-to BNS (butternut squash) recipe! I had a lonely sweet potato in the pantry so added that the last time I made the soup. Nice creamy and sweet addition.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!!
I love this! It reminds me of one I ordered frequently from a cafe near my old office. I’m sure this version is better for me!
I made this tonight on a cold, spring evening with a 10 oz bag of frozen butternut squash I had on hand, and just cut the recipe in half. It turned out amazing! Thank you so much, I will definitely be making this again.
How many grams is one serving? Just so I can calculate nutritional value
How would you change the soup recipe if you first cooked the butternut squash in the instant pot without peeling it (according to your directions for halving or quartering the whole squash)?
I would saute the first ingredients, then blend them with the cooked squash before you heat everything up. You won’t need to simmer for the whole time in that case, since the squash is already tender.
We’ve made a lot butternut squash soup recipes and this is by FAR the easiest and tastiest!
I have made this so many times and today i had to substitute pear for apple. I use oatmilk for thickness. I also had roasted pepitas to top w. Grounded peppercorn.
I love this recipe! And I add pumpkin seeds to top off. This reminds me of the Panera autumn soup without all the heavy cream. Thanks Megan!