This butternut squash leek soup recipe has sweet butternut squash simmered to perfection with savory leeks, broth and spices. This silky, flavorful soup makes a cozy and comforting addition to any meal.

If you’re looking for a simple, tried-and-true butternut squash soup recipe you’re in the right place! This simple, no-fuss soup lets the butternut squash shine.

For another simply perfect vegetable soup try this Carrot Ginger Soup.

close up shot of soup in white bowl

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 texture, but with no added heavy cream or sour cream. This recipes makes a perfect, uncluttered butternut squash soup that is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.

If you love this butternut squash leek soup, you also might like this sweet potato soup or this sweet corn soup.

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Leek 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. You’ll just use the white and light green part. The darker green parts can be discarded or saved to make chicken stock.
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Stock – Adds a nice depth of flavor. You can also use vegetable broth or vegetable stock.
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Cayenne Pepper – I prefer cayenne pepper to black pepper in this soup. It adds a touch of heat while keeping the soup an even orange color.
  • Bay Leaf

Tip: Using a whole butternut squash you cut up fresh yourself rather than precut butternut squash really takes this soup to the next level. Using pre-cut squash often results in a brownish, rather than bright orange, colored soup.

Cutting up butternut squash is easy! See the photos below for how to do it. This article on how to cut butternut squash is also helpful!

How to Cut Up Butternut Squash

step-by-step instructions of how to peel and 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 long ways 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 Leek Soup

step-by-step instructions of 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, in a large dutch oven, sauté the leeks in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until softened.

3. Add the softened butternut squash to the leek mixture. 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. Season the pureed soup with a pinch of salt.

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. 

butternut squash soup in pot

This soup is delicious as a meal on it’s own served with kale cranberry salad and gluten-free rolls. It’s also the perfect compliment to a holiday meal! Check out my full collection of gluten-free holiday recipes here.

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 in airtight containers for longer storage. Frozen butternut squash leek soup can last for up to 6 months.

two bowls of butternut squash soup

More Soup Recipes

I hope you enjoy this butternut squash leek soup recipe as much as we do! If you make this recipe be sure to leave me a comment and star rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

overhead shot of butternut squash soup in bowl with spoon
5 from 13 votes

Butternut Squash Leek Soup

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4 servings
This butternut squash leek soup recipe has sweet butternut squash simmered to perfection with savory leeks, broth and spices. This silky, flavorful soup makes a cozy and comforting addition to any meal.
This simple, no-fuss soup is a tried-and-true recipe that lets the butternut squash shine.

Video

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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 more cayenne pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

I highly recommend using a whole butternut squash you cut up fresh yourself rather than precut butternut squash. It really makes a huge difference! Cutting up butternut squash is easy! See the photos in the post for how to do it. 
Browning/caramelizing the butternut squash before adding in the liquid is an important step to maximize the butternut squash 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. 
This soup freezes great! Cool the soup in the refrigerator before transferring it to a freezer container for longer storage. Frozen butternut squash soup can last for up to 6 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 952mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 20378IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe originally published in October 2013. Post updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions in October 2019. 

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I really enjoyed this soup. I may try and roast the squash in cubes next time before adding to leeks. Also add some curry and cumin spice

  2. Making use of my butternut squash, leek & thyme received earlier this week from Farm Fresh to You. First time making a squash soup. 10 minutes to go — smells heavenly!

    1. 5 stars
      Absolutely delicious!! I didn’t add any additional liquid as recommended to make it a thinner consistency. It was perfectly creamy as is after running it through the blender. Will definitely make again. Prep took much longer than than 15 minutes suggested as I’d never prepped a butternut squash before – the skin is tough!!

    1. Yes butter is dairy! Many people with dairy sensitives can tolerate moderate amounts of butter (it’s mostly fat and has very little lactose/casein). However, you can definitely use coconut oil in it’s place like the recipe indicates.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! I have made it a few times with some variations. My favorite is to add a chopped apple (I steam it along with the squash in Step 1). Cheers!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this, it’s quite good. I added the juice of one tangerine and used sage & rosemary (because Farm Fresh to You sent them) instead of thyme. Oh and since I’m Latino I used more than a mere pinch of the good stuff!! I imagine swirling in some plain Greek yogurt would further elevate things. Thank you for posting this and putting my delivered leeks to good use.

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