Butternut Squash Apple Soup
It’s the season for butternut squash! The workhorse of the winter squashes, butternut squash is perfect for cooking up into a hearty soup, so welcome when the cold weather arrives. Butternut squash can be a challenge to cut raw (see our easy how-to here), it’s so much meatier than mostly hollow pumpkins. But these days you can easily find pre-cut squash at the market.
My favorite trick for a memorable butternut squash soup is to include a chopped tart green apple with the squash. The tartness of the apple enlivens the squash and balances its natural sweetness. This recipe is simple and easy, starting with a base of chopped onions, celery, and carrots, you add the squash, the chopped apple, stock, and seasonings, and cook until done. A little blender magic a the end and you have a beautifully puréed, thick, smooth and satisfying fall soup.
Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2003.
If you finely chop (1/2-inch) the butternut squash, apple, carrot, celery, and onion, they'll cook more quickly.
Add a smoky flavor to the soup by sprinkling in some smoked paprika. Make the soup a little more creamy by swirling in some sour cream (after you remove the soup from heat).
Butternut squashes come in various sizes. Your ratio of chopped butternut squash to chopped apple should be 3 to 1.
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 celery rib, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 carrot, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds discarded (see How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash)
- 1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple ratio should be 3:1)
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth (use vegetable broth if cooking vegetarian)*
- 1 cup water
- Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper
*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.
1 Heat a large thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and let it foam up and recede. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the vegetables begin to brown.
2 Add the butternut squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the squash and carrots have softened.
3 Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or work in batches and purée the soup in a standing blender.
4 Add pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.