Creamy and wonderfully flavorful, butternut squash soup is such a wonderful winter treat.
This VERY easy version is made with garlic, heavy cream, and parmesan. I use dried spices to streamline the recipe, and the result is comparable to much more elaborate ones.
This creamy soup is one of my favorites to make in the fall and winter. In my tasty version, Parmesan cheese adds texture and flavor, while a touch of heavy cream adds silkiness and enhances the soup's delicate flavor.
Considering it's such an elegant and flavorful soup that you can often order in fine restaurants, It's surprisingly easy to make!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make butternut squash soup. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Butternut squash: It's easiest to use pre-cubed packaged squash. Frozen works too - as you can see, I use frozen squash in the video below.
Chicken broth: I use reduced-sodium chicken broth. I like the Pacific Natural brand. Sometimes when I have homemade chicken broth, I use that.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the soup could end up too salty.
Spices: I like to use garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme.
Heavy cream: ¼ cup is all it takes to add a silky creaminess to the soup. You could add a little more if you wish, up to ½ cup.
Parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
Making this soup is truly easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Simply cook cubed butternut squash in some chicken broth and spices. I usually use either frozen diced squash or fresh pre-cut butternut squash cubes, available at Whole Foods and at many supermarkets. This means that this recipe is SUPER easy!
- Then blend the soup with an immersion blender right in the stockpot. Or puree it in batches (carefully!) in a blender or food processor.
- The last step is to add the dairy ingredients - just a little heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Those add wonderful flavor and creaminess.
Frequently asked questions
A one-cup serving of this soup has 142 calories, 7g of fat, 17g of carbs, and 4g of fiber.
In addition to salt and pepper, I like to add garlic and onion powders, and dried thyme. Sometimes I add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Some people like to add curry powder. I haven't tried it, but it sure sounds good!
It's easy because it's a one-pot dish that you cook in a single stockpot, from start to finish. And also because I use pre-cut squash and dried spices rather than peel, cut, and chop vegetables.
There's nothing wrong, of course, with more elaborate recipes! But this one is truly a breeze to make and it's wonderfully flavorful.
Here's how to troubleshoot and handle two frequent issues with this soup:
The soup is too thin
A fairly common issue when making butternut squash soup is that sometimes it's not as thick as you'd want it to be. Generally speaking, after some trial and error, I have found that a ratio of four cups (20 oz) of squash to 2 cups of broth works well.
The heavy cream and parmesan further help to thicken the soup. But if you make it and are dissatisfied with how thick it is, you have three options:
- Add more parmesan and/or more heavy cream. You can add an additional ¼ cup of each.
- Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of cold water, add the slurry to the soup, and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the soup thickens (1-2 minutes typically).
- Stir in ½ tablespoon of coconut flour to the warm soup. Coconut flour is a powerful thickener, and the small amount added here won't affect the soup's flavor.
The soup is too thick
Sometimes the opposite can happen and the soup is too thick. If this is the issue, it's easy to fix - simply stir an extra ½ cup to 1 cup of broth into the mixture.
You can do it after pureeing the soup. Then keep cooking briefly to heat through. You can also preheat the extra cup of broth in the microwave.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Add a pinch of nutmeg to the soup in addition to the other spices. As mentioned above, other tasty options include curry powder and cayenne pepper.
- Use canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Make sure it's full-fat coconut milk and mix it well prior to using it.
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I do feel that chicken broth is more flavorful, though.
I usually serve this soup as an appetizer. But it's so rich and filling that you can easily serve it as a main course. Simply serve it in a bowl instead of a cup, with these wonderful cheese biscuits on the side.
I very rarely have any leftovers when making this soup. This recipe makes about four 1-cup servings, and we are a family of four, so each of us enjoys a cup. But in case you do have leftovers, they should keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave. Make sure they don't reach boiling temperature. You might need to thin out the leftovers with a bit of water, as the soup tends to thicken while it stands in the fridge.
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Easy Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups butternut squash cubed (20 oz)*
- ¼ cup dry-grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- In a medium stockpot, whisk together the chicken broth, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme.
- Add the butternut squash cubes. Bring to a boil over high heat (this should take about 10 minutes), then lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook until the butternut squash is very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Puree the soup in batches in your blender or food processor (be careful when handling the hot liquids), or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the stockpot, as shown in the video below.
- Return the soup to the pot. Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Stir in the heavy cream and the Parmesan and cook, uncovered, just until heated through, about 2 more minutes. Taste to decide if you'd like to add a bit more salt, then serve.