This versatile Butternut Squash Soup is delicious on its own, but can be made with many flavor variations. Make it vegan, stir in coconut milk, try it with apples or curry, the options are almost endless!
I love simple, seasonal butternut squash soup. Its velvety texture and sweet and savory flavor is heavenly on a chilly day. I can never decide if I want to gussy my soup up though! There are so many options. I've created a versatile butternut squash soup so that you can play with any flavors you want to.
See the recipe for the Instant Pot instructions.
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I love the smooth texture of a pureed soup. Butternut squash is similar to sweet potato in that both vegetables make perfectly thick, velvety smooth, flavorful soups. Try my Chipotle Sweet Potato soup!
I often make mine with apples in the fall. Sometimes I swap some broth for coconut milk and add a pinch of spice for a Thai-inspired soup. I can even make my butternut squash soup vegan for my sister-in-law!
What makes a good butternut squash soup?
I made a very simple butternut squash soup, so that it is easy to top with delicious things, or add delicious ingredients. I started with onions, which I think add a nice savory flavor. I didn't add garlic because that might overpower the mellow butternut squash. You can add a clove of minced garlic if you like.
I used a cup of diced carrot, just because I like the flavor balance with the squash. They are the same color so no one notices, but what a great, sweet addition!
Using a pinch of nutmeg in savory dishes is a sneaky trick! It adds a depth of flavor that no one can decipher, but really makes a dish complete! You want to add just enough to add this depth, but not enough so that people know it's nutmeg! A pinch is just right.
Thyme adds the herby balance that completes a good butternut squash soup. It's not overpowering, yet adds savory appeal.
Another key to perfect pureed soup is a good blender. The more powerful the better! I love my Vitamix for sure. You can use other brands like Blendtec, or Ninja. I also puree soups in my food processor in batches because of its power. If you have a standard blender, simply let the soup blend longer.
Butternut Squash Soup Variations:
Now comes the fun part where we get to talk about all the variations this soup can take. What a delicious base to start with. Some options you'll be swapping out ingredients, others just get added to this simple recipe. Have a blast experimenting and write in the comments below if you have a favorite combo!
- Make it vegan or vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
- Coconut Butternut Squash soup is made by swapping one cup, or can, of chicken broth with the same amount of coconut milk.
- Add a teaspoon or two of ground curry powder to the basic soup recipe, or the coconut variation above for an Indian Curry Butternut Squash Soup.
- Make it a Thai-inspired soup by swapping a cup of broth for coconut milk, and adding 2 teaspoons red curry paste to the onions and squash while sautéing.
- For Latin flare add a cup of chopped poblano peppers, half a jalapeño and a clove of garlic to the onions. This is a sofrito flavor base and is great with a squeeze of lime at the end.
- For a Mexican soup swap 1/2 cup of the onion for 1 cup of salsa. Top finished soup with avocado and cilantro.
- Create an Italian squash soup by adding a can of tomatoes in place of 1 cup of broth and stirring in 2 to 3 tablespoons of prepared pesto at the end.
- For a fall favorite swap the carrots for a chopped, peeled apple. Top with crispy, dried apples and bacon for serving.
- A winter topping for this butternut squash soup is pomegranate arils and candied nuts or pistachios.
- For a creamy stir in, top it with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of parsley or scallions.
- Top with crispy fried onions and bacon bits for a hearty variation.
Check out more flavorful ideas using spices and herbs from your pantry with my Easy Tips for Using Spices!
Butternut Squash Soup with Easy Flavor Variations
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 8 cups diced butternut squash 1-inch dice
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth Or vegetable broth
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and add onion, carrots and butternut squash. Stir to coat with hot oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are just starting to soften and turn translucent.
- Add the nutmeg, thyme and salt and broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until squash, carrots and onions are very soft.
- Use an immersion blender, or carefully transfer soup to a blender and blend until very smooth. Serve, or return to the pot to keep warm until serving. Top with various toppings if desired.
- **See notes for Instant Pot instructions.
Recipe and Photos by Tara Teaspoon