Butternut Squash Soup

SoupFavorite FallButternut Squash

This butternut squash soup has a secret ingredient—a tart green apple. It adds just the right balance for the squash. Ready in an hour and freezes well.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It’s the season for butternut squash, which means butternut squash soup! 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.

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Tip: Make Butternut Squash Soup with Apple!

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.

How to Make this Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is simple and easy, starting with a base of chopped onions, celery, and carrots. You add the squash, chopped apple, stock, and seasonings, and cook until done.

With a little blender magic at the end, you have a beautifully puréed, thick, smooth, and satisfying butternut squash soup. It’s perfect for fall.

Can You Make Ahead and Freeze This Soup?

You can make this ahead of time and reheat when you are ready to serve and you can freeze this soup, too. (Here’s how.) You may need to add a little broth or water to thin out the soup when you reheat it.

Craving more squash soup recipes?

Watch How to Make Butternut Squash Soup!

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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.


For the soup:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (6 to 8 cups), seeds discarded (see How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash)
  • 1 large tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash to apple ratio should be 3:1)
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper

For the garnish (optional):

  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Chives, chopped
  • Dash of smoked paprika
  • Sour cream


1 Sauté onion, carrot, celery in butter: 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 Cook the soup: 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 Purée the soup: Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or work in batches and purée the soup in a stand blender.

4 Add seasonings: Add pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives and, if you want, a dollop of sour cream.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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215 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Karen

    I watched the “how-to prep a butternut squash”and found it very helpful. This recipe requires a bit of peeling, cutting and chopping, but the following steps came together easily and the results were delicious! Seasoned croutons added a tasty, crunchy topping.


  2. Chris Caldwell

    Very good recipe. I followed it exactly except I used unsweetened apple sauce because I had no tart apples.


  3. DavidH_ATL

    Great winter soup recipe! Instead of struggling with pealing the squash I cook it in the oven with the skin on. I cut it in half, de-seed and place each half flesh side down on parchment lined sheet pan. I cook it at 400 degrees for 45min to an hour depending on the squash size. The flesh easily scoops out into the pot at the point the vegetables are sautéed and the apples are soft in the stick.


  4. KikiCT

    Perfect butternut squash soup every time with this recipe! I add a touch of heavy cream at the end and sue whatever apples I have lying around. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!


  5. TracyN

    This soup is great. Unfortunately I put lemmon zest into it and it overwhelmed the delicious subtle favors of your recipe. I won’t make that mistake again. Looking forward to making it again!


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Butternut Squash Soup in a pretty fluted bowl on a metal surfaceButternut Squash Soup