Roasted butternut squash soup is a warm and creamy dinner or side dish soup recipe that tastes harder to make than it is! Butternut squash, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic cloves are ALL roasted for a deeper flavor in this classic fall soup.
Along with a batch of healthy pumpkin muffins, this roasted butternut squash soup was one of the first “fall” recipes I made this year. Never mind the fact that it was still a sweltering 95°F+ here last month when I finally had enough of our endless summer and craved something orange and squash-y.
Truthfully I surprised myself by waiting that long after wanting to make this easy butternut squash soup since July. On season 4, episode 8 of Queer Eye, Antoni prepared a butternut squash soup with one of their heroes that totally is the inspiration behind this soup right here.
While there are differences in ingredients used and measurements, I liked the premise of roasting not just the butternut squash, but as many of the ingredients as you can before pureeing it all into a flavorful and satisfying soup.
How to make roasted butternut squash soup
Arguably the most elbow-grease-intensive part of this recipe is breaking down the butternut squash. But let’s back up for a second and talk about what kind of butternut squash to look for in the store.
You’ll want to find a squash with a large neck vs. a large rounded base section. The reason being that the neck contains all usable squash, while the curved bottom part has all the seeds and stringy bits that aren’t roastable. A larger neck = more squash to roast.
In short, to cube a butternut squash, you want to:
- Slice off the very top and bottom of the squash to make two flat edges.
- Cut the squash in half horizontally where the base of the neck and the rounded part meet.
- Carefully peel or slice off the skin.
- Slice the rounded part in half vertically. Scoop out and remove the stringy bits and seeds. You may wish to reserve the seeds for another use, or you can just discard.
- Cut the resulting butternut squash into cubes.
If you’re a visual person, this tutorial from The Kitchn may be helpful. Just FYI – I use a sharp knife to carefully remove the skin, not a peeler. Either way works.
Alright! Now that that’s done, prep the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and place them on the baking sheet along with the cubed squash. You may need to use two baking sheets as you’ll want everything to fit in a single layer. And definitely use rimmed sheets so nothing slides off in the oven!
One nice drizzle of olive oil, a hearty sprinkle of kosher salt, and forty-five minutes of cook time later, you have yourself a pan of perfectly tender and roasted squash and vegetables all ready to become the base of this roasted butternut squash soup.
Transfer all this roasted goodness to a soup pot, then add the remaining kosher salt, ground black pepper, reduced-sodium chicken broth, and water. Give everything a stir and let it heat over medium heat for a good ten minutes or so.
Now it’s time to blend. An immersion blender makes this part super easy, though see the recipe card below for instructions on how to do it with a regular blender. This (affiliate link) is the immersion blender I have. It’s nothing fancy but it works like a champ.
Once blended and smooth, it’s time to add the cream and herbs. I find cream goes a long way in a soup recipe so I landed on one-quarter cup as just the right amount. It elevates this soup and makes it a little bit more special without tacking on a crazy amount of fat and calories to the nutritional bottom line. Of course you can add as much as you like – you do you.
The flavors of fresh sage and thyme really drive home the cozy warmth of this roasted butternut squash soup. Because they both have such a bold presence in a dish, I suggest dicing them verrrrry finely before stirring them into the soup. Grabbing a big hunk of sage or thyme leaves in one spoonful of soup wouldn’t be that good.
What to serve with butternut squash soup
Sandwich: My favorite pairing for a nice big bowl of roasted butternut squash soup? Any kind of sandwich, especially a grilled cheese! This sourdough havarti grilled cheese features roasted peppers and caramelized onions for an extra hearty twist.
Salad: Also great! Something like a Greek yogurt kale caesar salad has extra oomph to it while still keeping the better-for-you vibe going.
Bread: A thick and hearty bread like this honey whole wheat bread would add a perfect complement of sweetness to this roasty deliciousness. It’s made in one hour and is perfect for dunking!
Croutons: If you’re curious how to make croutons, the process is not hard at all. They’d also be an excellent addition to this soup if you’re not feeling a whole sandwich.
Can you freeze butternut squash soup?
Sure can. Just use your freezer containers of choice (or gallon-sized zip-top freezer bags) and this soup can be frozen for several months.
Since it has such a small amount of cream, I wouldn’t worry about it messing with the texture when the soup is frozen and then reheated. Of course, if you’re intending for this soup to go right in the freezer, you can always omit the cream on the first go-around, adding it into the soup when you reheat it.
- Vegetarian: Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make this soup vegetarian.
- Dairy-free: Coconut milk can be used in place of the cream if you’d like to make this soup dairy-free.
- Dice the sage and thyme leaves very finely so their bold flavors are evenly integrated into the soup.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed, with seeds removed
- 2 large carrots, cut into roughly 1" pieces
- 2 large celery ribs, cut into roughly 2" pieces
- 1 small onion quartered
- 6 whole garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 32 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)
- 8 oz water (1 cup), or additional broth
- 2 oz heavy cream (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp finely diced fresh sage leaves, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp finely diced fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel and cube butternut squash, removing the seeds. Aim for roughly equal cubes about 1" to 1-1/2" wide.
- Place cubed butternut squash, sliced carrots, sliced celery, quartered onion (with the layers separated), and whole garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet. Use two sheets if needed to fit everything in a single layer.
- Drizzle olive oil evenly over the squash and vegetables, then season with about 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Gently stir up everything on the sheet so the oil coats everything evenly, making sure it all ends up in a single layer before roasting.
- Roast the vegetables for 40-45 minutes, or until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of a piece of butternut squash.
- Transfer the roasted squash and vegetables to a large pot. Add remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, then pour in the chicken broth and water. Set the pot on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Let everything heat for 8-10 minutes, then blend using an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. **If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully pour everything into a blender and blend until creamy. Pour the soup back into the pot when you're done.**
- Once blended, reduce heat to low and stir in cream and continue to heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in finely chopped sage and thyme. Take a taste and season with additional salt and/or pepper as you like.