This smooth and creamy butternut squash soup recipe is both sweet and savory thanks to roasting the squash first for a deeper, caramelized flavor.


When it comes to soup, typically I want one I can almost chew. Soups like my creamy bean soup with sausage, taco soup, or even classic homemade chicken noodle are hearty and filling and a meal in themselves. But when it comes to a first-course soup or one made for grilled cheese dipping, a silky smooth variety like this roasted butternut squash soup is what I want in my bowl.

Roasting the butternut squash before cooking it in the broth is the secret to making this smooth soup perfectly balanced between savory and sweet. Its natural, caramelized sweetness is enhanced one step more with the sweetness of carrots.

But perhaps my favorite part of this soup is the savory undertones of fresh herbs like earthy sage, rosemary, and thyme that infuse the broth to make this soup so much more than a one-note wonder.


What’s In Butternut Squash Soup

Both roasted butternut squash and carrot add natural sweetness to this silky smooth soup. Add a drizzle of honey for an even sweeter spoonful.

  • roasted butternut squash—roast it early to prep ahead
  • canola oil or olive oil
  • butter
  • yellow onion
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • bouquet garni made with sprigs fresh herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley
  • cream or whole milk
  • honey (optional—or try maple syrup)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sour cream or creme fraiche

Roast the Butternut Squash for Deeper Flavor

Roasting the butternut squash creates a sweeter, caramelized flavor that adds depth to this soup.

Follow this method for roasting butternut squash:

  • Toss peeled cubes of butternut squash with oil on a foil-lined sheet pan and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. There’s no shame in using pre-cut butternut squash here.
  • Roast in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Or, skip the peeling and roast the squash halves with the skin on. If you don’t want to peel the butternut squash, cut the squash in half, season with kosher salt and black pepper, then roast the halves for 15-20 minutes at 425°F or until fork tender. Then, scoop the squash from the peel and it’s ready for the next step.

How to Make Butternut Squash Soup

First, roast the butternut squash as shown above. Roasting the squash gives this soup a rich and caramelized sweetness you won’t get with raw squash.

Sauté the onion and garlic with chopped carrot in a large pot with oil and butter. The combination of oil and butter raises the smoke point of the butter while adding richness you won’t get with just oil. Carrot adds another layer of sweetness. Cook just until soft but not browned so the color of the soup stays true.

Add the roasted butternut squash, stock, and bouquet garni. Simmering the herbs with the squash infuses their earthy notes into the squash and stock. Remove and discard the herbs once the stock has reduced by 1/4 to 1/3. Stir in the honey.


Blend This Soup Super Smooth

Which is better for making a smooth soup: An immersion blender or a traditional blender? I tried both appliances and while I love the convenience and clean-up of my immersion blender, it still left small chunks when done. But not with the traditional blender. The soup came out silky smooth. That’s why a traditional blender for this soup is worth the clean-up.

Avoid using the blender lid’s plug when blending hot liquids. Instead, cover the lid’s hole with a dish towel to avoid splatters. I learned the hard way that plugging the hole can cause the hot liquid to expand and explode when blending.


Thicken and Sweeten the Soup Even More

After blending, add the soup back to the pot, along with some cream. Continue cooking the soup over medium heat until it warms through. Add more salt if needed, which will intensify the soup’s sweetness more.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with sour cream or creme fraiche thinned with water or milk. A sprinkling of fresh thyme adds a little color, or try roasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.


Butternut Squash Soup Substitutions and Additions

  • Add 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger and/or 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder to the onion mixture for extra savory heat
  • Substitute the cream or milk with coconut milk
  • When serving, add a sprinkling of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, or cayenne pepper
  • Try maple syrup instead of honey for a very fall-ish flavor
  • Top with roasted pumpkin seeds or finely minced toasted pecans

More Smooth Soup Recipes to Slurp

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