Butternut Squash Soup

15 Reviews / 4.7 Average
Adapted from Joy of Cooking, this recipe has been a favorite of ours for over a decade. Both of our kids love it too, which is always a bonus, and fall is of course the perfect time of year to cook with winter squash since it's currently so fresh and readily available (at least here in North Carolina). I highly recommend topping it with crushed pistachios and fresh sage to really elevate the flavor.
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I am personally trying to get better at using foods when they are in season and preserving them for later in the year, and this soup freezes beautifully so it is worth it to double or triple the recipe.

This dish would also be a great starter for all those upcoming holiday dinners. One year my husband and I outdid ourselves by serving this soup in a scooped out acorn squash “bowl.” That was long before kids (and food blogs) when we had a little more time on our hands, but it sure was fun to “wow” our guests back in our adventurous days in the kitchen. No matter what you decide to do with this dish though I assure you that you can’t go wrong because it is delish!

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101 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Soup”

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Recipe Rating

  1. I started making this soup when I read it on here several years ago, and while I’m making it for Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to share my twist. When I scoop out the pulp, I separate the seeds and roast them with sage or whatever spices. I use them to top the soup for crunch instead of the pistachios.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! How come I’d never tried butternut squash before? I’m going to cook it again soon. Thanks for this recipe!

  3. 3 stars
    This was okay, though a bit heavy on the leek flavor. We’ve tried other butternut soup recipes that we like more, so won’t use this one again.

  4. 5 stars
    That’s so cool and yummy!

    Cooking is my hobby and I am going to try this out this in the weekend.

    Thank you!

  5. Hi! I was wondering if it’s possible to make this with coconut milk instead of heavy cream? Just looking for some alternate options (I keep hearing so many differing opinions about if dairy is o.k. for certain diets).

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hello. While we have not used coconut milk in this recipe, it should work. I’ve made a curried version of a very similar recipe with coconut milk.

  6. My very picky 3 1/2 year old wasn’t a huge fan, but my husband and I really enjoyed it.
    The biggest fan was my 20 month old though. By the end she was licking the bowl! We’ll definitely make it again, and hope to convert the picky eater soon too.

  7. I had never tried butternut squash soup before. No one in my family cared for it, but I am not sure it is the recipes fault.

  8. Hi, I am making this soup for the first time, and I know that I will freeze some of it. My question is whether I can add the heavy cream before freezing? I know milk products usually don’t freeze well. TIA

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. You can or you can reserve it. Sometimes the cream will curdle when reheating from freezer but you can reconstitute it easily with a immersion blender.

  9. I found a whole raw squash very hard to cut open, but then I found a cookbook with the following: put a 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the crockpot and add the whole squash. Cover tightly and cook on low for 7-9 hours, until a skewer goes in easily. Let it cool, cut it in half and do your scooping. Worked like a charm and I continued on with your recipe instead of theirs that wanted me to add brown sugar.

  10. I made this yesterday for the first time, and it is FANTASTIC! My husband liked it too. I’m always surprised at how easy “real food” can be if I just plan! Love this recipe!!

  11. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

    Hi there. Butternut squash is by nature sweet. You could try to add some heat or chipotle seasoning to add some complexity.

  12. I tried this yesterday and it came out pretty good except that my family found the soup to be a little too sweet. Any suggestions for how I can change the recipe so that its not so sweet?

  13. 5 stars
    I made this for the first time last night and the family loved it! Even my 3 year old ate a whole bowl then proceeded to say, “Let’s make it for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…” :-)

  14. 4 stars
    Let me first say I loved the taste of this soup! It is so simple and such little ingredients its taste is surprising because you don’t realize how little you need to get so much. I actually didn’t have a butternut squash and changed it up quite a bit cuz I used spaghetti squash instead. I skipped the puréed step and left it with the spaghetti squash noodle like. It is still sooo good! I will be making it again… And probably again after that :-)

  15. Loved this! My whole family loved it, even the picky 5 year old. I will try it with coconut milk next time, just to mix it up a bit :-) I put a little fresh parsley in before serving. Again, this was really good. Thank you for the recipe.

  16. Kendra Peaslee

    4 stars
    Hi Lisa,

    My family and I love this soup. I froze butternut squash in advance for less time in the kitchen. I didn’t use leeks, but I did add beans. Any cup of beans works whatever your preference. I love the immersion blender,real glad that I got one.

  17. 5 stars
    I just made this with two frozen bags of organic (one ingredient) pre cut squash, it turned out great. It was a bit thinner than I thought, maybe I didn’t use enough squash? I actually don’t think it even needs the cream at all.

  18. 5 stars
    Made this soup twice now. Used the onion instead of the leek both times because its what I had on hand and it was phenomenal. The second batch of this I made I added in an apple for a sweeter version and came out delicious

  19. Have you ever tried this in the crockpot? Would love to convert to the crockpot and wondering if I should skip browning the leeks in butter part? Sounds so good!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Chrissy. We haven’t but let us know if you do. I would still briefly cook the leeks and ginger just for the enhanced flavor. Lisa does specify to not brown. ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Christy. The words are often used interchangeably. Technically, however, stock is meant to be a neutral base for soups and such while broth contains seasoning and more body. Broth is just seasoned stalk. ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jessica. Yes, we freeze…a lot…and not just leftovers! :) Lisa uses a combination of containers from zipper bags and plastic air tight containers, to freezer safe glass canning jars of all sizes. Here are a couple examples of how she freezes: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/08/14/real-food-tips-10-recipes-to-freeze-for-school-lunches-which-makes-packing-a-breeze/https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/01/preserving-seasonal-foods-berries/. Your freezer can help make food waste a thing of the past and planning ahead much easier. ~Amy

  20. Followed the recipe exactly except used ground ginger and was super disappointed:( it had no flavor after all steps I went back and added more ginger then nutmeg and cloves then finally pepper. Just didn’t do anything for me:( I love soups of all kinds so I was so excited to try this. Oh well, another soup another day.

  21. Thanks for reposting, Lisa! I don’t think I’ve tried this one. I need some new recipes … tried and true good ol’ fashioned chili won’t work anymore due to my poor little guy’s legume allergy.

  22. 5 stars
    Made this soup last night and it was de-licious!!! :). No one here has ever had squash type soup and it was yummy and really quite simple. The kiddos were so-so about it but they tried it and that is our big rule in this house, everything new has to at least be tried before deciding. But, I will make it again b/c the more consistent you are the more likely kids taste will change and come to like it!! ;) hubby was a little skeptical but after the first bite he was hooked!! The only change i made was using half the amount of ginger b/c i love it but the others are a little sensitive to it and dont like a strong ginger taste. Thanks so much for all you do to bring us such yummy healthy recipes!!! :)

  23. 5 stars
    i used the leftover juice from the whole chicken in a crock pot as part of my “broth” portion and it made the BEST BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP I EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH! Thanks for both recipes :)

  24. Hi! I once had a homemade butternut squash that was slightly sweet. It was so delicious. Do you think there is something I could add to this recipe to make it a little sweet?

  25. Just tried this for the first time last night, and it was amazing! I had never made anything like this before (and had never cooked with ginger or leeks before), so I was super happy it turned out well. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. We made it with our leftovers … I’m not sure how many cups of squash we had, but I weighed it and it was close to a pound of cooked squash. Whether or not that was correct – it turned out delish!! Thanks :)

  27. Hey Lisa,

    About how many cups of cooked butternut squash do you need for this? I have some leftover that we roasted this week and I thought this would be the perfect thing to do with it…but I’m not sure if I should half the recipe or not…


    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Crystal. I had read that a 1 lb. squash yields about 2 cups of cubed squash, so, for this recipe, that would equate to 6-8 cups of squash. Jill

  28. Hey! We just made a variation of this and it was delicious. We subbed parsnips for leeks and added an apple and curry paste. It had a delicious earthy taste to it. Super Duper. Thanks!

    Lydia and Justin Kitts

  29. I just spent all day working on this recipe (I had to make chicken stock first). First of all, I loved working around the house knowing that on a chilly fall day I would have a wonderful, homemade soup for dinner! It is FANTASTIC! I poured the leftovers into pint sized mason jars for an easy lunch. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

  30. I made this today on our first weekend of cool weather here in Austin, TX! It was delish! At the very end I added a container of crab claw meat I had in my freezer I bought from a fisherman at our local farmers market .. Soooo good

  31. Hi Lisa, huge fan of your site and real food. I have a great soup that my kids actually eat. Check it out if you have time. I call it Autumn Soup but it is basically hamburger (totally budget friendly), carrots, potatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes, and beef broth… I add green beans and squash from my garden when available to add in more veggies but that is optional.
    Simply but tasty and perfect for the change in temperature. Here is the recipe:

  32. I made this soup over the weekend and it was delicious and easy. I used local New Zealand buttercup squash, coconut milk instead of cream and olive oil in place of the butter. Yummy!

  33. I made this tonight and it was AMAZING! I have never made butternut squash soup and searched the internet to find a recipe because I had butternut squash from our CSA that I needed to use. I made the soup just as the recipe stated except I added a bit of garlic and celery with the leeks and ginger. I also used half cream, half coconut milk and added a bit of cumin and nutmeg at the end.

  34. I made this soup for my hubby because I don’t like squash or ginger… but we both LOVED it! It has a bit of an exotic taste and I couldn’t stop eating it. I really appreciate that have never tried a bad recipe from your site. It makes me willing to try crazy things that I know I hate, then surprises me with liking them :) Thank you!

  35. Just got done making this recipe and it tastes great. (My kids won’t touch it, but they are picky little skinny boys anyway…) But I have a hard time with cooked veggies– I love them at first bite, but about 10 or so bites into it, the taste gets “old” and I can’t finish it. Then I’m hungry again about an hour later. Any suggestions?

  36. Just finished cooking two squash. The smaller one cooked faster, so I took it out and continued cooking the larger. Big mistake the juice left on the paper from the smaller squash burned and now the house stinks. My bf told me last night he doesn’t like squash. I’ve never had squash, so this will be a test.

  37. Made this last night… so yummy! I was pleasantly surprised that my husband and son (neither of them big fans of squash) both ate two bowls full. Because I didn’t have cream, I decreased the amount of chicken broth and added 2 cups of milk. I’m sure the cream is better, but it was delicious anyway. Didn’t have pistachios either, but would love to try that sometime. The fresh sage was good on top, and I tried parsley too. Thanks!

  38. Kelly, you specified heavy whipping cream in this recipe. I would have expected you to use heavy cream instead. Do you find that this soup needs the gums and stabilizers in whipping cream?

  39. I just made this soup and it was awesome! If anyone asks what fall tastes like, it tastes like this soup! Thanks for the great recipes. I love your website.

  40. I’ve just made this soup. We’ll be having it for lunch tomorrow but I had to have a little taste…absolutely yummy! Perfect for these autumny days! Thanks for the recipe :-)

  41. There is nothing like squash soup on a fall or winters day. My recipe is very similar, I add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp each of salt, nutmeg and cumin, fresh ground black pepper to taste, and 1 1/4 cup of corn kernels. Instead of the heavy cream I use Organic Soy Milk. I also like to use Cushaw squash when available.

  42. Mmmmmm…I love fall because of all the delicious squashy soups out there. This looks divine!! I just discovered your blog recently and am loving it. What a great concept and SO much useful info. Thank you!!
    To the commenter above, Grace , I think vegetable broth would be lovely in this soup! I put veggie broth in most things in lieu of chicken broth because I think it has more defined flavors.

  43. Does anyone think vegetable stock would be okay instead of chicken broth? My daughter is a vegetarian and won’t eat anything that has chicken in it. Thanks!! Sounds so good!

  44. Is there is an approximation of how much squash you used in cups? Also, would pumpkin work in place of squash? I still have a bunch of frozen pumpkin in the freezer from last year. Thanks.

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Pumpkin would definitely work as a substitute. As far as cups…I am guessing, but I think it’s around 3 cups or so.

  45. Another great squash soup is Late Summer Soup (see Stonyfield’s website). I made it last night and it was so good! I will have to try this recipe next week :) By the way, I always sprinkle sliced almonds on soups that have been pureed so I have some texture!

  46. The way i usually do it i put water,cabbage, carrot,celery and some left over chicken or turkey or any other meat whatever you on hands .Try it you’ll love it . I never use any chicken broth or stock and no whipped cream, no yorgut .

  47. I make a butternut squash soup that is dairy-free. Saute onions and chopped, tart apples; add stock (I’ve used both vegetable and chicken) and squash. Season as desired – I usually go with cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.

  48. Rebecca ~ Sweet Baby Yams

    Can’t wait to try out this recipe. I think it might be time to buy a hand immersion blender.

  49. I love making Butternut Squash Soup!
    I use:
    Potatoes, celery, carrots, onions and butter and brown those all together with the squash for about 10 minutes then add enough chicken broth to cover. I let it simmer for about 45 minutes and then puree and season with garlic salt and pepper.

    I will be trying this version as well!


  50. Mmmm! We love squash soup at our house as well. Or at least the adults do. Not sure the kids have had it in recent memory. Will definitely have to put this on the menu!

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      It’s funny you should ask because according to my husband it is “savory” and according to my grandmother it is “sweet.” I think it depends on the squash!

  51. I was in dinner panic mode last night and made something very similar, but I used different spices and didn’t add the cream. Also used olive oil instead of the butter. I didn’t have a squash on hand, so pulled out some aready cooked pureed squash from the freezer. While is was cooking, browned up some homemade whole wheat bread in a cast iron pan, and dinner in 15 minutes. I”m eating some right now, and it’s even better then next day.

    1. I put yogurt in mine instead of whipping cream. Don’t know if that works for you instead of cream. I also add apples for a sweet hint to it.

    2. Homemade almond milk is rich and creamy and easy to make. Just use about 1/2 c. almonds to 6 or 8 c. water and blend on high. I use a vitamix. Soaking the almonds overnight is reccommended but I’ve done it without soaking also. Some people strain it, but I don’t bother(more fiber). You can also blend in a 2 or 3 dates to sweeten it, if you like.

    3. My son is allergic to milk products and nut products so for the butter I would use olive oil (that is what I always use if something calls for butter to saute with) and rather than the cream I would use rice milk (I have never used almond because he is not allowed to have it due to allergies). He drinks soy but I have found that the plain soy is not as tasty in savory dishes like this as the rice milk is. I make a homemade “cream of mushroom” soup subbing the butter and cream for olive oil and rice milk and it tastes great. I was actually surprised as I am much more a fan of butter and cream but I do what I can for my little guy. :)