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This 35-Minute Butternut Squash Soup is made with creamy squash, tart Granny Smith apple, and herbaceous rosemary and sage for a creamy soup bursting with fall flavor. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free option.
This Butternut Squash Soup goes big on flavor, yet is made simply with just 8 healthy ingredients in just over 30 minutes! It’s the perfect way to use up a whole squash and load up on Vitamin A and dietary fiber. Finish with a swirl of coconut milk and freshly cracked black pepper and get ready to savor every wholesome bite!
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A Cozy, Thanksgiving Favorite
This Butternut Squash Soup tastes exactly like the soup our family friend used to make at Thanksgiving – except it’s totally dairy-free! It’s truly the perfect cozy soup to serve with holiday classics such as Mushroom Stuffing, No-Boil Vegan Mac & Cheese, and Tofu Turkey. It’s packed with incredible flavor, seasonal produce, and nutrients to nourish your soul from the inside out.
Nutty butternut squash + crisp, tart apple + warming fall spices…what more could you ask for?
Plus, this soup is freezer-friendly, meaning you can whip up a double batch in your favorite large soup pot and freeze as many servings as you’d like to enjoy any time of year. Talk about a win-win!
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Soup
You only need 8 simple ingredients to make a pot of healthy butternut squash soup!
- Aromatics: Sautéed yellow onion and garlic cloves create a flavorful foundation.
- Granny smith apple: While you may think apples in soup sounds like a big no-no, it actually works really well here. Tart Granny Smith apples help to cut through the creaminess of the coconut milk, add more depth of flavor to the squash, and complement the fall spices really, really well.
- Fresh rosemary + sage: These cozy fall spices add robust, earthiness to the soup as well as a pleasant, aromatic quality. For the best flavor, I recommend fresh, but dried will work in a pinch.
- Butternut squash: Fresh or frozen butternut squash will work. If using frozen, reduce the broth by 1/4 cup to account for the excess moisture.
- Coconut milk: Full-fat coconut milk is the best dairy-free alternative to heavy cream. It’s equally rich, creamy, and adds a very similar fat content for a perfect, velvety soup consistency.
- Broth: I like to use Homemade Vegetable Broth in my homemade soups. It’s made using vegetable scraps I’d otherwise toss in the compost and is one of my favorite ways to reduce waste, but any store-bought broth will do as well! Vegan chicken broth would also be delicious!
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
- Sauté the onion and apple until translucent. Add the garlic, herbs, and salt, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the butternut is fork tender.
- Blend creamy with an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor with a venting lid.
- Serve while warm, as desired. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Avoid substituting other varieties of apple. Granny smith provides a nice, unique tart flavor that balances the sweetness in the butternut squash. If you have other varieties of apple to use up, check out my most popular apple recipes: Apple Blueberry Crisp, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, and Vegan Apple Crumble.
- Don’t forget to garnish! Soup garnishes are arguably one of the easiest ways to turn a good bowl of soup into a great bowl of soup. Try a swirl of coconut milk, fresh or fried sage leaves, freshly cracked black pepper, toasted pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, or herby croutons (try the homemade croutons from my Creamy White Bean Soup)!
- Be careful when blending! It is safest to blend soups using an immersion blender as hot liquid expands in a regular blender. If you are using an upright blender or food processor with a lid, make sure the appliance has the capability to vent and blend in small batches. This is because hot soup expands in the blender. If the excess pressure cannot vent from the blender lid, it can create too much pressure inside the blender and blow the lid off of the blender.
This creamy soup can be served as a lighter main dish, or nutritious side dish, depending on your appetite. In addition to serving on Thanksgiving, it’s a wonderful recipe to make on any chilly day during fall and winter.
Like Roasted Tomato Soup, this butternut squash soup is delicious served with crusty bread or a hearty sandwich such as this Rainbow Veggie Sandwich, this Vegan BLT, or this Eggplant Reuben! Or, go with the classic soup and salad pairing and enjoy alongside an antioxidant-rich Kale Apple Salad or a Fall Farro Salad.
How to Store Butternut Squash Soup
Leftover soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or for up to 1 month in the freezer. Before covering and storing, allow the soup to cool to room temperature. This will prevent condensation from building inside the airtight container or jar.
Substitutions and Variations
- Oil-free option: Instead of olive oil, sauté the onion and apple in a splash of vegetable broth or water.
- Use dried herbs: Fresh herbs will yield the most aromatic depth of flavor, but dried herbs can be substituted in a pinch (1 teaspoon dried rosemary and/or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage).
- Butternut squash substitutions: Replace all or a portion of the butternut with another winter squash variety such as peeled and chopped pie pumpkin, acorn squash, or kabocha squash. This will yield a slightly altered flavor and texture, but will be similarly sweet and nutty.
- Coconut milk substitutions: I find the coconut adds a subtle rich, creaminess, but some readers have found the flavor of the coconut to be more pronounced. If you don’t enjoy the flavor of coconut or have a coconut allergy, substitute the coconut milk for another unsweetened plant-based milk. Or, blend 1/2 cup of raw cashews with 1 1/2 cups of water to make a homemade creamy cashew milk to use. If you choose to use a store-bought milk, such as soy milk or almond milk, your final soup will be much less creamy.
If you find the soup to be too thin for your liking, simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so after blending to help thicken. Alternatively, stir in a thickening agent, such as a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water) at the end of cooking to help thicken. Note that soups thicken as they cool, so be careful not to over-thicken.
Yes, please. Unlike other squash varieties such as Delicata Squash or Acorn Squash, it is best to peel butternuts before using. The skin is tough and doesn’t blend well. Always remove it for the best, silky texture.
A sharp vegetable peeler or sturdy knife is best. If you’re short on time or kitchen tools, you can always purchase peeled and chopped butternut from the grocery store during the fall and winter months.
If you are cutting a butternut squash at home for the first time, it can be intimidating. For a helpful, step-by-step tutorial, check out this guide: How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash.
Roasted squash can work. Follow the recipe as written, but wait to add the roasted squash to the pot until the last few minutes of simmering, then blend as normal. This will prevent the squash from overcooking.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Butternut Squash Apple Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 Granny Smith apple diced
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and diced (about 5–6 cups/800 g)
- 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Aromatics: Warm the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and apple and sauté until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes Add in the garlic, rosemary, sage, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Bring to a Boil: Add in the squash, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Stir well, then bring to a boil over high heat.
- Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender.
- Blend: Carefully use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. You can also transfer the soup to an upright blender with a venting lid; blend on high speed for 14 to 60 seconds, until creamy.
- Serve: Serve as desired; leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to one month.
- Oil-Free: Sauté the vegetables in step 1 in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water or additional vegetable broth instead of oil.
- Apples: I would not recommend substituting another variety of apple here; Granny Smith provides a nice, unique tart flavor
- Coconut Milk Swirl: If you’d like to garnish your soup with a coconut milk swirl (as seen in the blog post photos), simply set aside ~1/4 cup (60 ml) of coconut milk before adding to the pot in step 2. Use a spoon to drizzle the milk over the bowls right before serving.