There are few things I love more in the winter than a piping hot pureed soup and Butternut Squash Soup is speaking my love language. The way the silky-smooth sweet and savory liquid warms me from up from the inside out gives me all the cozy feels.
Butternut Squash Soup
There are many versions of butternut squash soup out there but ours sets itself apart with a base of nutty brown butter, woodsy fried sage leaves peppered throughout and just a touch of cream to make the soup luxurious without weighing you down.
The ingredient list is minimal (although not as minimal as our 5-ingredient butternut squash soup), the process is simple and the end result is quite magical.
Roasting the squash alongside thyme, maple syrup and plenty of salt and pepper gives the soup a more complex flavor you can’t get by simply sautéing it prior to adding the broth. It’s an added step but one well worth the extra effort.
Let’s get started!
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash. To save time, I like to buy my squash already peeled and diced. It’s a little pricier but my time is valuable.
Olive oil, salt, pepper and maple syrup. This is the base flavor of the roasted butternut squash. It’s simple but packs a punch.
Thyme. We throw in some fresh thyme leaves alongside the squash for extra flavor.
Sage. While a lot of recipes garnish with fried sage on top (including us), here we fry the sage in butter and then puree it with the soup.
Garlic + onion. Always a must in soup.
Chicken stock. I always use chicken stock but if you want to make it vegetarian, swap out veggie stock.
Vinegar. Almost every soup needs a little acid to balance it out. Here I use a white wine vinegar for a touch of acidity.
Cream. We like to finish the butternut squash soup off with a drizzle of heavy cream. Not a lot, just enough to give a hint of luxury.
Let’s make soup!
Roast the squash. Toss the squash with evoo, salt, pepper, thyme and maple syrup. Roast at a high temp until the squash is soft.
Brown the butter. while the squash roasts, brown the butter in a large pot. Once the butter is brown, add the sage.
Fry the sage. Fry the sage in the butter for 30 seconds or so until it’s crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove it then add the onion.
Cook the onion and garlic. Saute the onion until slightly softened, then add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds until it’s fragrant. Turn the heat off and remove from the burner to cool.
Puree. Add the roasted squash, onion, garlic and sage to a high powered blender. Pour in one cup of chicken stock and some salt. Blend until smooth.
Simmer. Transfer the soup back to the pot along with the remaining chicken stock, salt and vinegar. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Can I make butternut squash soup in advance?
Absolutely. From start to finish. In fact, I love to make the squash soup at the beginning of the week and pull it out for lunch or easy dinners.
Do I have to use cream?
While cream does add a luxuriousness mouthfeel you can’t get from anything else, you can leave it out or swap it out with half and half or plain Greek yogurt.
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Watch the squash, you don’t want it to burn in the oven.
- Don’t be afraid to get the butter nice and brown.
- Season every step of the way! This is so important!
- Swap out cream for half and half or plain Greek yogurt
- Roast a head of garlic alongside the butternut squash
- Swap out honey or brown sugar for the maple syrup
- Roast one carrot (sliced) alongside the squash for extra veggies
- Use veggie stock in place of chicken stock
- 1 3/4 lb cubed butternut squash (about 4 cups)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 tbsp butter butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup loosely packed sage leaves
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 blender
- 1 stock pot
- Preheat the oven too 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Add cubed butternut squash to the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use your hands to coat the squash in the oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, thyme leaves and drizzle with maple syrup. Again, use hands to evenly coat the squash in the seasonings. Spread the squash evenly on the baking sheet. You don't want it overcrowded so the squash can roast, not steam. Transfer the squash to the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is soft and starting to caramelize and brown.
- While the squash roasts, heat a medium pot (I use a 4 qt) to a medium-high heat. Add the butter. Once the butter starts to bubble and brown, swirl the pot. Continue to swirl the pot and cook the butter until the butter is a deep brown color and smells very nutty. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully add the sage leaves. They will spit and spatter. Use a wooden spoon to stir and coat the sage in the butter. Return to the heat and cook for another minute until the sage is crisp.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss with the butter and sage. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic, cook another 30 seconds until the garlic smells fragrant. Turn the heat off and scrap the onion, garlic and sage mixture to a high-power blender.
- When the squash is soft and caramelized, remove from the oven and transfer to the blender with the onion and sage mixture. Pour 1 cup chicken stock on top along with another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Carefully blend the mixture until smooth.
- Return the blended soup to the pot you cooked the onion and sage in. Add remaining chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the soup and add more salt to taste.
- Stir in white wine vinegar and cream. Stir until combined. Season to taste again with salt and pepper.