Perfect Butternut Squash Soup With Variations

Butternut squash soup
Molly Watson
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
206 Calories
7g Fat
36g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 206
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 1422mg 62%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 47mg 236%
Calcium 146mg 11%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 972mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Start with this basic butternut squash soup recipe and then use any of the variations and garnishes below. Spice it up using warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or make it a spicy version with cayenne pepper and garlic. Throw a dollop of sour cream or cilantro as a garnish. These are just a few suggestions we've listed, or experiment and add your own flair—to create your own version of the perfect butternut squash soup.

The perfect accompaniment for this soup is a warm crusty bread or a tossed salad


  • 2 large butternut squash (about 4 1/2 pounds), or 4 pounds peeled and cubed

  • 2 medium onions

  • 3 cloves garlic, optional

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 8 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Halve, seed, peel, and cube the butternut squash. Set aside.

  2. Halve, peel, and chop the onion. Mince the garlic, if you're using it.

  3. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter or oil and the chopped onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

  6. Transfer small batches to a blender. Hold a kitchen towel over the top (to prevent burns) and whirl until completely and utterly smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

  7. Return the soup to the pot and add more salt to taste.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Garnishes & Variations

Classic garnishes for butternut squash soup include a dollop of sour cream, plain yogurt, or crème fraîche. A sprinkle of spices such as minced cilantro or thyme is also tasty. A few other options:

  • Creamy: Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream after blending and gently heat until warmed through.
  • Spicy: Add 1 chopped jalapeño chile and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne with the garlic. Stir in up to 1/4 cup brown sugar at the end. If you like, cream is also a nice addition to this version.
  • Roasted: Roasting concentrates the flavor of the vegetables. You can use this method with any of the other flavor combinations you like. Put halved and seeded squash cut-side down in a large pan. Arrange halved, peeled onions and garlic around squash. Pour in 1 cup broth and roast in a 375 F oven until very tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Scoop out the squash flesh from the peel and put it in a blender, along with the onions and garlic and remaining broth.
  • Gingery: Add 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon ground ginger along with the garlic. Make it even gingery-er by melting 4 tablespoons butter in a small frying pan. Cook until it turns light brown and add 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger. Swirl the ginger butter on top of each serving.
  • Warm Spices: Add a combination of 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, ground ginger, cinnamon, and/or black pepper along with the garlic.
  • Many Squash! Switch out up to 2 pounds of the butternut squash with sugar pumpkin or acorn squash.
  • Protein Packed: Whirl up to 8 ounces of soft or silken tofu into the soup. Be sure to whirl it in a blender or food processor for a full minute or so to fully incorporate the tofu for a truly smooth and creamy soup.