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Simple Butternut Squash Soup

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

There is nothing like a good butternut squash soup to usher in cooler weather!

This soup is one of the first recipes we ever made together. It predates our interest in cooking, as well as local and seasonal eating (I believe we ate it in the summer – though I must admit while not truly seasonal to Indiana, I have had squashes that have lasted that long in our pantry!). Whatever the case, I remember being incredibly impressed at how delicious it was.

Time has passed, and I was curious to look back at the recipe to see if it was as good as we remembered!  At first glance, I was pleasantly surprised at the short ingredient list and simple preparation method. I also was surprised at the lack of cream, which tends to be a common ingredient in butternut squash soup (and is usually a bit too rich for me to stomach!). Somehow, just a potato and the squash make for an incredibly creamy texture!

While I’ve been spoiled since my first taste of this soup with fancy variations of all kinds (from Thai-spiced to gourmet Mexican), I must admit this simple version still stands the test of time as a solid, basic butternut squash soup with a full-bodied flavor and a smooth, velvety texture. And while we still may look for fancy variations of our own, this one still hit the spot – and made for a good trip down memory lane!

What’s your favorite way to make and serve butternut squash soup? 

Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • 1 medium boiling potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper (or white pepper, if you have it)
  • Sour cream and fresh dill, to garnish
What To Do
  1. Thinly slice 2 shallots. Peel the butternut squash and cut it in half; scoop out the seeds and chop into 1-inch pieces. Peel the potato and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent (5 to 10 minutes).
  3. Add the squash, potato, 1 bay leaf, a few pinch of kosher salt, and 3 cups of water. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a steady simmer. Cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and let the soup cool slightly. Then puree the soup using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender, then transfer back to the pot). Let the soup cool a bit more; it will thicken a bit and become creamy. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper to taste (we added about 1 teaspoon kosher salt). Use white pepper to preserve the pure look of the soup (if you don’t mind the black flecks, use black pepper).
  5. Serve garnished with sour cream and fresh dill, or other garnishes as desired.
Adapted from Williams and Sonoma: Rome
Tip: We highly recommend an immersion blender for a pureed soup such as this – it saves a lot of trouble! However, a blender or food processor will also suffice – you’ll just have to transfer the soup to the blender and back to the pot.
You also can stir in spices of your choice to add a bit of flair – curry powder, cumin, coriander, chipotle powder – the sky’s the limit!


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  • Reply
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
    October 20, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Yes – I also love that the recipe doesn’t call for cream! Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite seasonal comfort meals, and I agree that a really great basic recipe is good to have on hand. Can’t wait to make this!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I agree, butternut squash soup is pretty much the best thing ever. I have to say that my favorite version is a “fancier” one – a Spicy Peanut Squash Soup that I perfected and blogged earlier this year. Another way I love to make it is by roasting squash, onions, and apple or pear, then pureeing with broth. Your photo is gorgeous!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

      Both of those alternatives sound delicious! We’ll have to try them out.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    October 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

    So pretty! I also like that there’s not a bunch of cream in it. I love butternut squash soup and I think you may have just put it on my menu for next week. Thanks you two!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Gorgeous! I also have to agree that sometimes simple hits the spot! I have a similar recipe and sometimes I will sub garbanzo beans for the potato to add a little protein!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      I love that idea! Thanks for the tip :)

    • Reply
      February 21, 2012 at 1:18 am

      I love the idea of subbing garbanzo beans – would you suggest a whole can or less?

    • Reply
      February 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Orli – I’m not sure – we haven’t tried this substitution yet! I’ll have to defer to Erin :)

  • Reply
    Indy Fan
    October 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    MMM MMM MMM. Love me some Butternut Squash. This post has motivated me to go home and make some to take to work tomorrow :)

  • Reply
    foodie @ Tasting Spot
    October 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    love the recipe.. will give it a try

  • Reply
    October 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I love it even more when they are so simple! This looks amazing too!!

    I would love for you to link this up on my soup linky–I’m looking for new recipes and tips!


  • Reply
    October 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Looks yummy. I love this soup and the fact there is no cream. The hardest part it trying to cut up the butternut squash. Do you have any tips or suggestions? I noticed that you peel yours first. Maybe this would help.

    • Reply
      October 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      I am so with you! I avoided butternut squash for a long time because it was so hard to prepare! I was just remarking today that I felt I was finally getting better with it :)

      Yes, we peel it first, then cut it in half lengthwise (which is probably the hardest part – this takes some strength!). Then we lay each half cut-side down and chop it into smaller pieces. Let us know if you need further guidance — and good luck!

      • Reply
        October 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        its easy to microwave.puncture a few places, then 9-15 minutes depending on size.Peel comes off very easily and squash almost cooked!!!

    • Reply
      October 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      If you look at Real Simple’s website (realsimple.com), they have a whole article on how to prepare squash and they have some easy instructions on how to peel and cut a butternut squash. I found it to be really helpful!

    • Reply
      October 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      I always cook the squash(2-3 whole ones seeds and all)in the oven .. just throw them in like baked potatoes..let them cool then peel , slice , remove seeds, dice . Sooo much easier to dice!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I really appreciate it. I think I’ll make some butternut soup soon:)

    • Reply
      October 26, 2011 at 8:02 am

      Wonderful — let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I like it with a parsnip or two thrown in. Parsnips really accent butternut squash beautifully. I do occasionally throw some cream into the mix. And fried sage leaves are an excellent garnish.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    This soup is simply delicious! I threw in some Williams and Sonoma Ras El Hanout seasoning and it gave it some great extra flavor. So yummy! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      You’re welcome! I had never heard of Ras El Hanout and just looked it up – sounds delicious! Thanks for the idea :)

  • Reply
    January 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Just made this! And yes I ate it for breakfast! Thank you for such a simple and delicious recipe. It’s amazing how much just a single bay leaf can do. I roasted the squash and potato with the shallots and some garlic. Added an apple also and simmered with a parmesan rind I had lying around (just tryin to clear out the fridge!) Thank you for this soul warming recipe.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I can’t wait to try your soup recipe with one of the dozen squash that are in my basement from this past year’s harvest. I need to get them all turned into something before the new garden season.

    • Reply
      March 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Haha! Good idea. We have held onto squash a bit too long before — they don’t necessarily go bad, but they aren’t so good either!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    This soup looks great, I can’t wait to make it some time! I also like it because it doesn’t need cream (which I don’t have) and it doesn’t need peanuts (which I’m allergic to).

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