Recipe: Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup (2024)

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Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen

Emma is a former editor for The Kitchn and a graduate of the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts. She is the author of True Brews and Brew Better Beer. Check out her website for more cooking stories

updated May 1, 2019

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Recipe: Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup (1)

Serves4 to 6

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Recipe: Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup (2)

Butternut squash soup is one of those meals that defines autumn for me. Pretty much as soon as the leaves begin showing hints of orange, I start scooping up these big-bottomed squashes at the market and putting this creamy soup on the regular meal rotation.

This fall, I thought I’d mix things up a bit and add a Southwestern spin to my usual butternut squash soup. Cumin and coriander add spicy warmth while a squeeze of orange and lime give it a hit of late-fall sunshine.

As much as I love butternut squash soup, dealing with that big ol’ winter squash can be a bit of a chore. There’s really no way around the wrestling match, though lately I’ve been forgoing the vegetable peeler in favor of a chef’s knife. I cut the squash in two pieces through the neck, set them cut-side-down on the cutting board, and use a chef’s knife to trim off the skin. I find this much quicker and easier to manage.

→ How to peel a squash: How To Peel Squash: An Easier Way

Since prepping the squash is the most laborious part of this recipe, I also try to get it done a day or two ahead of time — preferably as soon as I walk in the door with the grocery bags, if I can manage it! It will keep in a container in the fridge for several days. With the squash already done, the soup itself comes together in about a half hour, making it easy to fit into a busy weeknight.

I like to serve this Southwestern version with plenty of toppings in little dishes on the table so that everyone can pick and choose what they like. Cilantro, green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and sour cream are my favorites! Some thick slices of bread on the side make it a complete meal.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large (3 pound) butternut squash

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, diced

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 2

    jalapeño peppers, seeds discarded and diced

  • 3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons

    cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon

    coriander

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika (regular paprika is also fine)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper, optional

  • 4 cups

    vegetable or chicken stock

  • Juice from 1 orange

  • Juice from 1 lime

Soup toppings:

  • Chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas, oven-roasted chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Trim the top and bottom off the butternut squash, then cut it in half where the neck starts to bulge. Peel both halves of the squash with a vegetable peeler, or by placing it cut-side down on the cutting board and trimming off the peel with a chef knife. Cut the halves in half, scoop out the seeds from the bottom half, and then slice into bite-sized pieces. This can be done several days ahead of cooking; store the squash in an airtight container in the fridge.

  2. Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and just starting to turn brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the bell peppers and jalapeños, and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, spices, and salt, and cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

  3. Add the cubed squash and the stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pot the heat.

  4. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until creamy. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly, then blend in a blender or food processor.

  5. Return the pot to low heat and stir in the orange juice and lime juice. Taste and add more salt or other spices as desired. If you'd like a thinner soup, stir in up to a cup more broth.

  6. Serve with toppings on the side, letting everyone choose their own. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

If you have time, try roasting the butternut squash before adding it to the soup. Toss with a little olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, and roast at 400°F until the sides of the squash show color. This gives the soup an extra roasty flavor.

Vegan Version: For a vegan soup, make this with vegetable broth and nix the sour cream topping.

Meat-Eater Version: I also love this soup with cooked sausage or bacon stirred in after the soup is pureed.

Filed in:

dinner

easy

Freezer Friendly

Gluten-Free

Healthy Living

Keeps Well

Recipe: Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup (2024)

FAQs

How do you make butternut squash soup less bland? ›

Sage and Nutmeg: both of these spices pair beautifully with butternut squash and add a depth of flavor that you will love. Salt and pepper: brings out the flavors in the soup. You may want to use more or less to taste, but the measurements provided are what tasted best to me.

What are the ingredients in Pacific butternut squash soup? ›

Pacific Foods Organic Butternut Squash Soup contains fall harvested butternut squash, simmered slowly to bring out its natural sweetness and smooth texture. Ginger, onion and garlic mingle with cinnamon and nutmeg for a creamy, flavorful soup with a hint of nuttiness.

Is butternut squash anti-inflammatory? ›

It contains zeaxanthin and lutein, two powerful antioxidants that support vision. Butternut Squash's high antioxidant content may have anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce your risk of inflammation-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

Do you need to peel butternut squash for soup? ›

How to cook Butternut squash. You can eat the skin, so there's no need to peel it. Simply halve it, scoop out the seeds and chop it into chunks, then roast it and add it to a warm winter salad or throw it into curries, stews or soups.

How to improve the taste of butternut squash soup? ›

Yellow onion and garlic – These veggies add delicious depth of flavor. Fresh sage and rosemary – I don't reach for rosemary as often as some other fresh herbs, but I absolutely love it here. Along with the sage, it makes this soup cozy and complex.

How to add depth to butternut squash soup? ›

Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

Onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes: These vegetables give body and depth of flavor to the soup, without overwhelming the squash. Once the vegetables are tender, you may use an immersion blender or blend them in batches using a standing blender to achieve a smooth, creamy texture.

How does Gordon Ramsay cook butternut squash? ›

In a large bowl mix the cubed squash, garlic cloves and ginger with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the spice mix. Season with salt and pepper and scatter in a single layer in a roasting tray. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes until tender all the way through.

What does butternut squash do for the gut? ›

Butternut squash contains considerable amounts of fiber, which can help you keep a healthy weight and regulate bowel movements. It's known to help prevent colorectal cancer while the beta-carotene in butternut squash can also improve eye health.

Is butternut squash soup good for blood pressure? ›

It can help your blood pressure.

Butternut squash is high in potassium, which can help keep your blood pressure in check. Managing your blood pressure can reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease. Its fiber helps with blood sugar. Butternut squash contains a type of fiber that's not digestible.

What are the side effects of butternut squash? ›

When taken by mouth: Butternut is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people, but it can cause diarrhea and irritation of the stomach and intestines. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use butternut in large amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It might stimulate the bowels too much.

Is butternut squash good for arthritis? ›

Butternut squash is rich in potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, manganese and Vitamin C. Because of its high antioxidant content, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects, helping you to reduce your risk of inflammation-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

What goes well with butternut squash soup? ›

Try some of these sandwiches to pair with your creamy butternut squash soup.
  • Brie and Apple Grilled Cheese. ...
  • Turkey Pesto Sandwich. ...
  • Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich. ...
  • Fall Harvest Turkey Wrap. ...
  • The Best Turkey Reuben. ...
  • Roast Beef Sandwiches. ...
  • Apple & Brie Grilled Cheese with Baby Greens. ...
  • Grilled Turkey Cranberry Cream Cheese Sandwich.
Oct 14, 2022

Can dogs eat butternut squash? ›

Generally, butternut squash is safe to feed to most pooches, unless your vet has advised otherwise. As a guide, we would recommend feeding small dogs no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons of butternut squash, whilst bigger dogs can eat up to 3 or 4 tablespoons of butternut squash.

Is butternut squash good for diabetics? ›

Is Butternut Squash Safe for People Living with Diabetes? Butternut squash is a fantastic option for those who need to carefully monitor their blood sugar levels. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C, butternut squash can provide numerous health benefits for those living with diabetes.

How do I fix bland tasting soup? ›

Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples

Add a splash of vinegar (any kind!), or a squeeze of citrus. Chances are, you could use a little more salt. Go ahead—it's ok. Salt perks up flat flavors and helps balance out bitter-tasting ingredients.

Why is my butternut squash tasteless? ›

If it's underripe, the squash won't have developed its signature taste. If it's overripe, it may be dry, mushy or flavorless. Follow these tips the next time you're at the grocery store or farmers market to find the perfect recipe-ready butternut squash.

What can I add to soup to make it less bland? ›

If a soup is tasting bland in the bowl, consider adding acid rather than salt. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a dash of yogurt or sour cream can add brightness to the bowl.

What flavors go well with butternut squash? ›

Spice-Roasted Butternut Squash

Cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper bring warmth and spice to this simple, tender roasted squash dish.

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