In this Butternut Squash Soup Recipe, sweet butternut squash is simmered to perfection with savory leeks, broth and spices to make a silky, flavorful soup. This soup makes a cozy and comforting addition to any meal!
This soup is delicious as a meal on it’s own served with kale salad and gluten-free rolls. It’s also a great make-ahead addition to a holiday meal! Check out my full collection of holiday recipes here.
Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite soups any time of year, but especially in the fall. Its bright orange color and warm comforting flavor is perfect as the weather gets cooler.
I’ve made this recipe dozens of times over the years and it’s our favorite! It is rich in butternut squash flavor and has a creamy, silky texture.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Soup
This is a simple soup with just a few ingredients. The simple ingredients really let the butternut squash flavor shine through. Plus this recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free!
- Butternut Squash – I opt for a whole squash rather than precut. It really makes a difference in flavor and color. Precut butternut squash can yield a brownish looking soup (rather than bright orange) from my experience.
- Leeks – Add the perfect oniony flavor
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock – Adds a nice depth of flavor
- Fresh Thyme
- Cayenne Pepper
- Bay Leaf
Tip: Using a whole butternut squash you cut up fresh yourself rather than precut butternut squash makes all the difference in this soup. Cutting up butternut squash is easy! See the photos below for how to do it.
How to Cut Up Butternut Squash
1. Start by peeling the butternut squash.
2. Next cut off the top and button of the squash.
3. Then cut the squash right above where it starts to curve out.
4. Cut the top part in half then chop into chunks.
5. Slice the bottom in half then scoop the seeds out.
6. Chop the bottom into chunks.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
Once you have your squash ready it’s time to make the soup. The numbered photos here match up with the how-to steps below.
1. Place the cut butternut squash soup in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the leeks until softened.
3. Add the softened butternut squash to the pot. Let it sit and brown (but not burn!) on the bottom until the squash starts to caramelize. Cook this way stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. This brings out the flavor of the squash.
4. Add the chicken stock and scrap all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
5. Add the spices and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in a high-speed blender.
Tip: Browning/caramelizing the butternut squash before adding in the liquid gives this soup a rich depth of flavor. Just be careful not to burn the caramelized bits. If this starts to happen you can add a little stock and scrap the bottom of the pot.
What is a good garnish for this soup?
Once you’ve pureed the soup to perfection it’s ready to serve. You can serve the soup on its own or topped with delicious garnishes like crumbled bacon, a drizzle of cream (or coconut milk) or roasted pumpkin seeds.
Can I freeze this?
Butternut squash soup freezes wonderfully. I recommend making a double batch if you can because it freezes so well. Cool the soup in the refrigerator before transferring it to a freezer container for longer storage. Frozensquash soup can last for up to 6 months.
More Delicious Soup Recipes:
- Carrot Ginger Soup another easy vegetable soup
- Dairy-Free Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup dairy-free and delicious.
- Italian Minestrone Soup a reader favorite
- Sweet Potato Soup creamy and delicious
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup done in 30 minutes
Recipe originally published in October 2013. Post updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions in October 2019.
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Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks (about 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter
- 1 large leek (or 2 small leeks), white and green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1-2 cups water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the peeled, seeded, and cut butternut squash chunks in a large glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Reserve the liquid from the butternut squash stemming. Add the squash to the pan with the leek and cook until a brown fond forms (be careful not to burn it!) on the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock and and scrape the bottom to get all the brown bits off (that is all the flavor!). Add the thyme, bay leaves, cayenne and liquid from the butternut squash and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the leeks are fully tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme. Blend the soup in a high-speed blender or with an immersion blender. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, to thin the soup to to the consistency you like.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!