My favourite version of the classic Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, that is, in my opinion … simply perfect!
I know there are dozens of versions of roasted butternut squash soup out there, but this is the one that I make and have made for years, so I though I’d share it. It’s simply perfect and if you’re craving a simple and satisfying squash soup this Fall, I promise you won’t regret making this one.
This soup starts with roasted squash. Roasting really brings a wonderful flavour to butternut squash. It also means you don’t have to peel or cut the butternut squash into chunks. I’ll often roast the butternut squash off ahead, maybe the night before or the morning of the day I’ll be making the soup. Simply roast, let cool a bit, then scoop the roasted flesh out in to a bowl and refrigerate. You can also make this soup ahead and re-heat, which is perfect for Thanksgiving. If it thickens while sitting in the fridge, you can thin with a little more chicken stock, if needed, but re-heat first, then add stock.
Added to the soup is a bit of onion, a pinch of cinnamon and is finished with maple syrup and heavy cream. Just a bit of heavy cream. A 1/4 cup bit to be exact, so even though it’s heavy cream, it’s so little that it doesn’t put this soup over the top in richness or guilt.
The most important tip for making this soup is to taste at the end of cooking and adjusting the seasoning as necessary. As with all soups, the saltiness of the stock used will vary, so you may need to add only a little or a bit more, but you will probably need to add some. I can’t stress this enough. Honestly, the one thing that I’ve learned that has made the biggest improvement in my cooking is to learn to salt properly. So taste your soup and add salt, then taste again and add a bit more if you need to. You may want to add a splash more maple syrup. Again, maple syrups vary in their intensity of flavour. Obviously, you don’t want a sweet soup, but you do want to have a note of maple. Again, taste and adjust.
When it came time to garnish my soup for photos, I wanted a little more than orange and green, so I thought a sprinkling of sunflower seeds would be nice. They may look nice, but trust me when I say, those little seeds pack a lot of flavour. In fact, more sunflower seed flavour than I want in my butternut squash soup. So don’t do that ;) For this soup, I’d keep the garnish simple – chopped parsley or maybe some simple homemade croutons (or maybe bacon-fat crisped croutons!).
This is my favourite version of this soup, but in the past, I’ve changed it up a bit by replacing the cinnamon with a bit of curry powder or smoked paprika. You can make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock or it would be gluten free by using a gluten free chicken stock. If you don’t eat dairy, you could substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream or just omit the cream altogether.
Simply Perfect Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 cups roasted butternut squash (from 2 medium-large butternut squash)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup heavy (35%) cream
Roast the squash (can do ahead and refrigerate): Preheat oven to 375° Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and dark orange stringy flesh. Place squash cut side down on to a baking sheet. Note that you want the squash to lay perfectly flat, so you can get some caramelization going for best flavour. If they won't all lay flat, use two baking sheets if necessary and rotate their position in the oven half way through roasting. Roast in pre-heated oven for 55-60 minutes or until very soft when you press on the top of the squash.
Remove from oven and using a spatula, flip the squash halves over and allow to cool a few minutes. Using a spoon, scoop all the roasted squash flesh out and in to a bowl, being careful not to take any of the skin. Discard squash skins. If making the soup immediately, measure out 4 cups and set aside. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until you want to make the soup. Any extra squash can be refrigerated and used for another meal.
For the soup: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and is translucent. Add the 4 cups of roasted squash flash and stir. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine well. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes to blend the flavours. Using an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender, puree the soup just enough to remove any big chunks. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth. Return to pot (still over medium-low heaif using a blender, then add the pinch of cinnamon, the maple syrup and the heavy cream. Stir well to combine.
Taste soup. Add salt as needed and some freshly ground pepper. You may wish to add a splash more maple syrup, again, if needed. Garnish with some chopped parsley or croutons.