Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Butternut squash season and apple season start around the same time, in early fall. The workhorse of the winter squashes, butternut squash is perfect for cooking up into a hearty soup, so welcome when the cold weather arrives. 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 sweetness.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Note that the smaller you chop your vegetables, the faster they will cook. We like to finely dice the onion. celery and carrot, and cut the squash and apple into 1/2-inch chunks. For a variation add a couple dashes of smoked paprika and/or swirl in a little sour cream at the end (off the heat).

Butternut squashes come in various sizes. Your ratio of chopped butternut squash to chopped apple should be 3 to 1.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

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. Turn the heat down 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.

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Links:

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup - from 101 Cookbooks

Carrot and Squash Curry Soup - from the Pioneer Woman

66 Comments

  1. Ellen

    Hey, I saw something similar in Bon Appetit, then found your recipe here so followed yours, but with a bit more chicken broth. I cooked it a bit longer–maybe my squash chunks were bigger. Delicious!

  2. Paul Shipman

    Elise, this looks very good! I make squash soup, but haven’t tried apples with it. What a great idea.

    I wonder if I could use my method of halving the squash, roasting it and starting with that as a base? It’s slower, but I find it’s easier than peeling/slicing raw squash and gives a nice flavor.

  3. Elise

    Hi Paul –

    I think the idea of roasting the squash first is a great idea. It would certainly make it easier to peel. And you would get that nice roasted flavor too. Maybe I’ll try that the next time I make the soup.

  4. Dawn

    Elise,
    Found your recipe and made it immediately. I have never thought of making butternut squash soup in the past but I am on a new diet and I am looking for new ways to eat veggies. This is a must have. With only one tablespoon of butter this recipe is virtually fat free. I have on word to discribe this recipe YUMMILICIOUS!

  5. steve

    I found your site yesterday while looking for pot roast recipes, and made yours. So today when I was starting on a butternut squash soup, I searched here. This soup is very good; I’ve done roasted ones before, but this one is very simple and fast. I just pureed it, and it tastes great.

  6. NJ_Cher

    I cooked my butternut squash (both small ones) in a crockpot first.

    I also added crushed garlic.

    In addition, I made croutons from rustic bread that was a day old. I cut them into 1-inch pieces and briskly stirred them in olive oil with salt, pepper, and various fresh herbs. I put the croutons on top of the soup. I grated a little parmesan over the top.

    Divine.

    Cher

  7. Mallory

    I made this for a vegan co-op, and it was delicious! The only subsitution I had to made was margarine instead of butter. I roasted the squash first (so much easier to get out of the skin!) and added some powdered ginger and curry powder. Several people said it’s the best squash soup they’ve had, so thanks!

  8. Sue Moore

    Adding pure maple syrup just before serving also gives this a delicious flavor…people are raving about it!

  9. Renee K.

    I (or rather, my kid) lost a part to the blender so I wasn’t able to liquify this. Even without that step this soup turned out delicious. My friends flew up for a visit and this is what I served them. Every bite was met with “Mmmmm!” and “Tasty!”. I’m positive I’ll make this again.

  10. Angela

    Squash can be peeled rather easily with a really good potato peeler.

  11. Gloria Schlosberg

    I use this basic recipe with a few changes.
    I don’t use carrots or celery, just onion sauted in butter. Also, along with a Grannie Smith apple I add a sweet potato, or yam for thickness and additional flavor. I use a touch of the Sugar Twin sweetner (sugar-free brown sugar), or maple syrup, and before I serve it I grate some orange rind on top. These changes have won me raves.
    For ease and speed, I get the fresh cut and peeled butternut squash at Trader Joe’s.

  12. Kung Foodie Kat

    This also makes a nice chilled Summer soup and goes perfect with some Levain bread and a salad. I made it without butter for my vegan friend Ken. We all thought it was lovely.

  13. Anonymous

    Delicious recipe! Next time, I will cook the squash first, then dice for the recipe. Peeling & dicing the large, uncooked sqaush was not an easy task!

  14. Sally Parrott Ashbrook

    Elise, it cracks me up that I will google an idea of what to make for dinner, and at least half the time, one of your great recipes pops up! Thanks for posting them. I’ll be making this one tonight.

  15. Sally Parrott Ashbrook

    Yum, another success. I left out the celery, threw in an extra carrot and a parsnip (just b/c I had them), and added some fresh sage and dried ginger with the broth. Delicious. It was so thick it was almost like a simple puree instead of a soup. Very filling–and you’re right that the apple just makes it work!

    It did take me more like 20-25 minutes for my butternut squash to be cooked through.

  16. Jason

    This is an easy, simple, healthy, and, above all, delicious recipe. Butternut squash can be easily peeled with a potato peeler! I’m now looking to vary the recipe a little, maybe add some pumpkin or more apple.

  17. Pam

    I try to use seasonal vegetables whenever possible so butternut squash and apple attracted me. I do prefer butternut squash soup with garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and coconut milk. This apple soup version was a tad too sweet for me.

  18. Colleen

    We tried this recipe tonight for dinner, and neither my son nor I liked it. The chicken broth and apple made for a strange combination of flavors. The only thing we did differently was leave out the onion, as I cannot eat them.

  19. david t

    Why does everyone feel the need to peel a butternut squash? I have been forgoing the peeling for a few months and every recipe I try seems to turn out fine. This is true even for dishes that do not require blending – the skin becomes soft like the meat of the squash, easily eaten.

    For that matter, does anyone else eat butternut squash raw? It tastes like a tough canteloupe to me, and never given me digestive problems.

  20. Janna

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet (but I will tonight!)- but I make butternut squash soup by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds and steaming the squash- it tastes great, is fast and you can avoid all the cutting and peeling.

  21. Brittany

    I made this soup tonight! I took a commenters advice and roasted the halved squash. I also added a sweet potato, as someone else mentioned. It was really good! I love your site, and especially love that you allow for comments, since so many are helpful.

  22. Jessica

    Try microwaving the squash first for 4-6 minutes after cutting in half and scooping the seeds out. The skin comes off much easier. I also added more chicken stock, some fresh sage (4-5 leaves), dried ginger (1/2 tsp), brown sugar (2-3 TB), and at the end some heavy cream to give it more richness. Half and half would work to. It came out delicious!

  23. RevJen

    I roasted a huge butternut squash last week and have been using it in various ways. I made this soup for lunch today and am eating it now. Wonderful!!

    So, to those who were wondering if it works to roast the squash first, I say “Absolutely!”

  24. valerie

    This soup is awesome! I couldn’t bring myself to add the celery (wanted a smooth consistency) or the apple. I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger and two garlic cloves and left out the other spices. I also changed the butter and chicken stock to olive oil and veggie stock for my vegan friends. Even my 4 year old said “yum”. Maybe next time I’ll try the apple…

  25. Nicole

    This recipe is SOOO GOOD! The apple really adds a nice flavor. I’ve made this a few times now, definitely a family fall favorite! This last time I was out of nutmeg, but I had pumpkin pie spice and it worked great. Thanks for such a delicious and easy recipe!

  26. Joan

    This soup is so good that you could serve it for dessert!!

  27. Jenny

    I added an acorn squash and roasted the squash instead of boiling. I sautéed the apple with the celery, carrot and onion. I also added some cayenne pepper for a little kick. Delicious!

  28. Anna

    I just made this soup and it tastes good, but a little too sweet. Any ideas on how I can cut the sweetness now?

    Try a little lemon juice, and a little chopped parsley, and/or a little more tart apple (need to cook that). ~Elise

  29. Archie

    Hi Elise,
    I’ve been a follower of your recipes for some time now – so thanks for all the knowledge you’ve been sharing with us.
    Was wondering how long most soups if the prepped according to your recipes will last?

    Hi Archie, good question. It sort of depends on the soup, but I would guess a few to several days in the refrigerator. No longer than 5 days. Some soups you can freeze for longer storage. ~Elise

  30. Minou

    I can’t wait to try this recipe as the butternut squash is in season at the market. Only one question though what size of squash should I use? I find the sizes vary cosiderably do you have any idea on the weight of the squash to use or the number of cups of cubed squash to use? Thank you :)

    Great question. This recipe I made so many years ago (2003!) I don’t even know what to tell you. The next time I make it I’ll try to remember to measure. I would say likely a squash on the smaller side, one that would yield 4-6 cups of chopped squash. ~Elise

  31. Ray

    This is a great soup. As someone who doesnt eat his veggies I am always on the lookout for different ways to eat them. I made this soup the day before I took it to a birthday party. Along with full turkey dinner and it got so many raves I had an empty soup pot by the end of it. I will try adding some coconut milk and curry powder for the next recipe. Thanks so much for your site and all the great recipes on it.

  32. tessa

    This was soooo good. I loved it. I make it every Friday now.

  33. Molly

    Hey Elise!
    I made this for my family 2 weeks ago and last night. They loved it both time but I noticed that the taste differed a bit. The first time was better and I think it may have to do with the quality of the butternut squash. The first time was from our local grocery store and the second time was from Walmart. Do you think that could be the reason?

    Also, in the spirit of fattening up for the holidays, I added about 1 cup of heavy cream to the soup to thicken it up and make it a little richer. My family loves it, even though they were wary of the idea of a squash soup at first. Thanks again!

    The quality of the ingredients can certainly make a difference. ~Elise

  34. Catherine

    My first time making squash soup and it was absolutely to die for. I tried to make it a bit more savory, a little extra celery and left out the nutmeg/cinnamon. I also roasted the squash ahead of time.

  35. Amy

    Elise-

    This looks delicious. After having wonderful success with your risotto, I’m moving on to the soup. I’ve made squash soup before but am looking forward to trying it with apple. A little curry powder is sometimes yummy in here if you want another interesting twist.

    I think I’ll roast my squash–it brings out the sweetness of the squash and it’s so much easier to work with! (I’m lazy, ok? Teehee!)

    Thanks again for the recipe.

  36. Melissa

    This soup is so easy (my first attempt at making a soup like this) and absolutely wonderful! I roasted the squash the night before (it was in the oven before I found this recipe) and added it last to re-heat it before blending. This is why I love Autumn!

  37. Lucinda

    Delish! I added a tab more butter after puree, a dash of ground ginger, black pepper and garlic along with the nutmeg (didn’t have cinnamon),diced one extra apple and simmered until semi soft for texture and added flavor. Salted butter eliminates the need to add salt at the end and adds a great robust flavor! So good! :-) Thanks…

  38. Sasha

    I also roasted the squash first, and I also added some sriracha (cock sauce), which gave it some spice.

    Delicious!

  39. Courtney

    One word, WOW! This was my frist try at butternut squash soup and I couldn’t be happier. I roasted my squash, used turkey stock I had in the freezer and added ginger. Other then that, followed the directions and it was amazing. I think I’ll add extra carrots and celery next time. Healthy and delicious. Thank you thank you for the recipe! I’m already excited about the leftovers for dinner tonight.

  40. Liane

    This recipe got rave reviews from husband and in-laws. I don’t like sickly sweet soups and this was just perfect. It was interesting adding the spices at the end. I added pinches of everything, then after tasting and needing something more I added more salt. Just the added salt brought out the tartness of the apple in a weird way, so I added more of everything to balance it out. I just polished off the one leftover serving and I can say it reheats well too!

  41. Carol

    This soup was fast and fantastic!! It would have been healthy and low-fat if I didn’t add heavy cream at the end – but it was worth it!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  42. Molly

    I love this recipe. I’ve used it time and time again. Sometimes the taste is a little different but I usually chalk that up to how much apple I used. This really has been a staple for me as I love butternut squash and this recipe appears to be very healthy! Thank you Elise!

  43. c. cooper

    Delish! Made this also with sweet potato, also very good.

  44. Leanne

    I made this today for lunch and it was AMAZING! I’ve never had homemade butternut squash soup before, but this was 10x better than the Pacific Organics one I tried last year. I had made veg. broth from the squash scraps and some extra veggies, so it was super bland at first. I added the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and then added in a pinch (or two) of onion powder and garlic salt to give it just the right kick, which complemented the sweetness and tartness well. YUM! I am totally making this again!

  45. Michele

    This is terrific! I followed the recipe exactly, using vegan margarine and vegetable broth. My husband, kids and I loved, loved, loved it!

    I think it did take about 40 minutes from start to table – not bad for a weeknight. When I have more time, I’ll try roasting the squash first as others have suggested. Next time, I’ll use more apple and add a little garlic too.

  46. devan

    I don’t usually comment on recipes I try, but this time I’m making an exception. I tried this last night (with a few exceptions, of course) and loved it. I left out the celery since I didn’t have any on hand, used a MacIntosh apple (the only kind of apple I have on hand right now), and roasted the squash as another commenter suggested. I also added garlic and switched out the nutmeg and cinnamon for herbes de province–I wanted a soup that was a bit more savory than sweet. Amazing. I loved the combination of flavors! Wonderful wonderful soup!

  47. Renee

    Just made this soup tonight (minus the carrot and celery) and it was great! I’d never had butternut squash soup before, and this was excellent. I liked how rich and thick it was, even without cream or anything. Next time (because there will definitely be a next time) maybe I’ll try adding the carrot and celery, as well as ginger and the roasting as people mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Tom

    I used 6 cups squash, 2 cups apple and an extra cup of chicken stock. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. Super GOOD!

  49. Jake

    Just made this this afternoon.

    Didn’t have an apple, so I used a bit apple cider vinegar to add some tartness. Also added 2 sausage patties, chopped after cooking into the first step.

    Very tasty & filling.

  50. nate

    Fantastic soup! However, the next day it was a different soup. I reheated a bowl less than 24hours after the first serving and the flavor was gone! Does anyone know how I can get that ‘party in my mouth’ back?

    great recipe though.

  51. Bethany

    This was amazing! I added a little more carrots and celery and it still turned out delicious! My boyfriend is not a big veggie eater and he had no idea I added the extra and ask me to keep the recipe! A must try!

  52. Karen

    I made this last night for our Halloween dinner and it turned out so delicious! Definitely better than anticipated. I actually featured this recipe on my blog today complete with a picture and everything. Thanks for a great recipe!

  53. Alyssa

    I also made this for our Halloween soup party. I used the sweet potatoes instead of carrots and celery. I baked the squash and sweet potatoes first and brushed them with butter and garlic (375 for 45 min). I sauteed the onions in butter and garlic and added the apples at the end of the onions cooking. I put it all into a crock pot on high for 2 hours then pureed and put back into the crock pot on low until served. I added a little nutmeg and cinnamon, a bunch of pepper and a fair bit of salt. Excellent! Excellent the next day too!

  54. Amanda

    Delicious Soup. I used a red delicious apple because thats what I had on hand, and its maybe a little too sweet. But I have to say the squash definitely didn’t turn into a puree after 15 minutes. I ended up using a hand blender to make it more soup like.

  55. Nina

    My hands started peeling like crazy after cutting up the butternut squash. I’ll be using gloves next time I cut one up, but do you know why this would happen?

    Many people are allergic to raw pumpkin or butternut squash. Sounds like you might be one of them. (The allergy apparently doesn’t affect people if the squash is cooked.) The thing to do is to wear gloves when working with the raw squash, or wrap your hands in plastic wrap. ~Elise

  56. Laura Jane

    Tried this soup recipe last night using left over acorn squash that I had roasted. It was also delicious. It’s nice to find a squash recipe that is savory and not sweet!

  57. Anonymous

    Really good soup. Instead of carrots and celery, I fried up the onions with a jalapeno, some fresh ginger, cinnamon stick and a bay leaf. Right before serving I added some calvados (French apple brandy) and topped it with some sour cream mixed with cinnamon powder. It was great!

  58. Anonymous

    I like my butternut squash soup with a little kick. I always add chili powder and cayenne, and sometimes a pinch of curry or cumin for added flavor.

  59. sue constabler

    Great soup. We own a deli and are alway looking for good soup. We have also made this with pears instead of apple, good also.

  60. Daun

    I have made this soup before and absolutely love it. This soup is one of the first things i make when the cool weather hits and this week has definitely called for a warm, savory soup…

  61. Megan

    This soup is fabulous. It is perfect for the cooler weather and is definitely one of my new favorites. Thank you for this recipe :)

  62. Michelle Glauser

    Thank you for this recipe! I tried it out and loved the flavor!

  63. Darlene

    I love this recipe and need to make several batches for a party in the future. Does this soup loose any quality if I make the soup now and then freeze it for three weeks?

    No idea. I’ve never frozen this soup. ~Elise

  64. Deb

    My daughter-in-law made this and it was delicious, she followed your recipe. Loved it. I am now in the process of making it. But chose to roast my squash first and will add some fresh garlic to it. Anxious to have some fresh homemade squash soup on this cold day!

  65. K. J.

    I made this for the 2nd time this week, it’s one of our favorites! I used a stick blender to blend it right in the pot, makes it even easier. Thank you very much!

  66. Emily

    This is delicious and filling! I used one of those already cut up squash from the produce dept and following your ratio of apple to squash, used three small Granny Smith apples. I also added some white wine I had frozen for cooking and some garlic scapes. Tried out my immersion blender. Mixed in plain whole yogurt for my young boys to enjoy. Really yummy! Thank you.

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