Butternut Squash Soup

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Effortlessly easy and irresistibly silky, this butternut squash soup is brimming with naturally sweet and savory flavors, making it essential comfort food for crisp fall days.

butternut squash soup in Dutch oven drizzled with cream and sprinkled with thyme

If you’re on the lookout for a standout butternut squash soup recipe that’s as easy as it gets, you’ve come to the right place. My no-fuss recipe begins with a smart shortcut: pre-cut squash from the supermarket. Then, simply tumble all the ingredients into a pot, simmer, purée, and voilà, you’re done! But—and this is me wearing my kitchen dictator hat—please stick to the recipe as written. The simplicity here means that full measures of sugar, salt, and cream are not mere suggestions; they are essential to achieving that rich, full-bodied flavor and silky texture that take this soup from simple to sublime.

For the finishing touch, you have two seasoning options: fresh thyme or curry powder. Each leads the soup in a deliciously different direction, so choose whichever one suits your mood or pairs well with what you’re serving. 

“This is one of those obscenely simple recipes that gets rave reviews from everyone! Ive made it for as many as 150 people and they ALL wanted the recipe. So quick to put together—my favorite “dump” recipe; but the result is elegant, fragrant and such a beautiful color.”

Leigh Aaron-Leary
Spoon in a bowl of butternut squash soup.

What You’ll Need To Make Butternut Squash Soup

Soup ingredients including heavy cream, garlic, and sugar.
  • Butternut Squash: The star of the soup, butternut squash provides the soup’s base, offering a sweet, nutty flavor and a velvety texture once blended.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds a subtle sweetness and a vibrant color to the soup.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatics are essential for building the soup’s flavor foundation.
  • Water: Used as the liquid base, water helps to blend all the ingredients smoothly without overpowering their flavors.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the soup. Remember, don’t skimp because it’s essential for bringing all the flavors together.
  • Sugar: While it might seem counterintuitive to add sugar to a savory soup, a touch of sweetness enhances the butternut squash and red bell pepper’s natural flavors. It also helps balance the saltiness. Again, don’t skimp on this essential ingredient.
  • Heavy Cream: Gives the soup a luxurious, creamy texture and a slightly sweet richness.
  • Thyme or Curry Powder: Choose based on the flavor profile you prefer: earthy and herbal with thyme, or warm and spicy with curry powder.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by tossing all of the vegetables, salt, and sugar into a large soup pot.

Chopped vegetables, sugar, and salt in a pot.

Cover them with water.

Water pouring into a pot of chopped vegetables.

Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 35 minutes.

Water and chopped vegetables in a pot.

Purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (or in a standard blender) until silky-smooth.

Immersion blender in a pot of orange soup.

Pour in the heavy cream.

Heavy cream pouring into a pot of soup.

Stir until combined and bring to a simmer. Mix in the fresh thyme (or curry powder), then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Fresh thyme floating in soup.

That’s all there is to it. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with more cream if desired, and serve.

Ladle scooping from a pot of butternut squash soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pre-cut butternut squash?

Absolutely! While it’s generally more expensive to buy pre-cut produce at the supermarket, it can be a huge time-saver, especially with large, unwieldy vegetables like butternut squash. Peeling, seeding, and chopping a whole butternut squash is a chore, so ready-to-cook cubes are a great shortcut. The key is to make sure the package is very fresh. The grocer’s rule is “first in, first out” so the freshest package will typically be towards the back of the shelf.

Can butternut squash soup be frozen?

Yes, the soup can be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Can I make butternut squash soup ahead of time?

Yes, it’s an excellent make-ahead dish. It can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. In fact, letting the soup sit for a day or two can enhance its flavors as the ingredients meld together. When ready to serve, gently reheat the soup over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Ladle in a pot of butternut squash soup drizzled with cream.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Effortlessly easy and irresistibly silky, this butternut squash soup is brimming with naturally sweet and savory flavors, making it essential comfort food for crisp fall days.

Servings: 6 to 8
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds pre-cut butternut squash (7 to 8 cups, cubed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon curry powder, for a different flavor profile)

Instructions

  1. Combine the squash, pepper, onion, garlic, water, salt, and sugar in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes
  2. Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until silky smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender in batches, making sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape.) Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Mix in the thyme (or curry powder), then taste and adjust seasoning (depending on the sweetness of the vegetables, you may need a touch more sugar). Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with more cream if desired, and serve.
  3. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It can also be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 217
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 1192 mg
  • Cholesterol: 34 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • This is good, but needs modifications. 1) Cook veggies in vegetable stock, then, using a sieve drain off the stock. [Stock can be reused to make any grain dish. ]2) Dump veggies and one cup of milk (dairy or unflavored nut milk) into food processor 3) Puree and add some dried thyme, salt and white pepper and onion powder 4) Put mixture back into original pan and reheat 5) Serve with some croutons on top. That makes a nice Fall soup. Thank you, Jenn.

  • This was so easy and yummy! I added a teaspoon of curry and half a cube of chicken stock, which gave it some great extra flavor but I don’t think the base recipe needed it.

    • — Rachel van der Merwe
    • Reply
  • Just tried this cuz needed a recipe for a pureed soup for a friend who had oral surgery. So, we gave her 90% of the soup and kept 10 for us – really tasty! I thought that using water instead of a broth would make it less flavorful, but it’s full of flavor 🙂

  • Jenn, I volunteer in a community kitchen doing meals for shut ins and homeless. We’ve been given a lot of butternut squash so we’d like to use your recipe and will adapt quantities to what we need. Instead of peeling the squash we’d like to roast them. My question is, Would you change anything in your recipe if roasted squash were substituted? Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Gean, what a nice thing you do! I don’t think you’d need to change anything in the recipe if you roast the squash. It obviously the squash wouldn’t need as much time to soften up in the soup but I’d still cook it for the same amount of time so all of the other flavors/ingredients can cook and meld together. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • I love Jen’s recipes – but I have to say like others have mentioned this one was a little bland for me, even despite using chicken broth instead of water. I added a sprinkle of ginger and cloves at the end and it helped warm everything up.

  • Super easy and quick but thought it was a bit bland. Next time I will cook in chicken broth, not water. I added a dash of cayenne and some chicken bouillon and that made a huge difference.

    • So easy! My family loved it!

  • Can you make the soup with almond milk instead?

    • Hi Lorraine, I think you could get away with it, or for more creaminess, full-fat coconut milk would work here. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

  • Absolutely my favourite soup to make now, thanks so much for the recipe 😀 I did however change a few little things up On your original recipe. I just added creme fresh instead of cream and it seemed to thicken slightly better than the first time around when I used cream. Added a dash of turmeric and a dash of cumin which gave it a lot more flavour!

  • As DJ recommended, I added a chopped carrot and stalk of celery plus plenty of spices to this. The biggest problem was how thin the soup ended up with 7 cups of water (I used 4 cups veg broth and 3 cups water). I had to add two boiled and pureed potatoes to thicken the soup up. So I would suggest cutting back the liquids to 4 cups veg broth, and adding a potato to the mix. The quality of the butternut squash also makes a big difference in this soup.

  • Loved loved loved this recipe! Satisfied my craving for homemade soup! Very easy to make and doesn’t require as many ingredients as the other recipes.

  • I normally really enjoy recipes from Jennifer, and even bought her cookbook because I felt guilty having made so many of her recipes, repeatedly with great success. This time for this recipe, I used an orange bell pepper since I didn’t have a red one. I used coconut creamer instead of heavy cream since that’s what I had on hand. The entire batch of soup had to be throw out. It was awful. I thought I made this before and thought it came out wonderfully, but I can’t be sure. I think it was so good because I used chicken bone broth instead of water. Allow me to further investigate and update my review. For now, I can’t recommend this one, but Jenn has the most wonderful recipes. I will update on those separately.

    • In her defense you did tweak it a lot that technically it’s not her recipe anymore.

  • I usually love recipes from this blog, definitely a go-to site, but this one fell flat for me. It was bland. I had to add coconut and curry to salvage it, but then it was good so I guess that as a base for the flavors you prefer it works well.

  • Just made this today to warm and serve on Thanksgiving – so delish! Have to keep my husband out of it for 2 days. Soon to be a family fav 😋

  • How many days will this soup keep covered in a Tupperware in the fridge? Thanks!

    • — Stephanie Wiesel
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, this should keep well for 2 – 3 days in the fridge. 🙂

      • Really such a delicious soup. I normally don’t love butternut soup, but just felt like it tonight and I loved it.
        It was one of the few recipes that really took as long as it said. I couldn’t believe that I could make such a yum soup, from start to finish, in less than an hour.
        I didn’t have peppers and I didn’t add cream. But it was still delicious.
        Thank you for sharing this recipe Jenn

  • Delicious! The only change I made was to add a tablespoon of white pepper to add a little kick. Everyone loved it!

  • Followed the recipe directions but I added 1/2 tsp ground white pepper before serving. I felt it needed a little something after making it and the pepper gave it more depth. I pureed the soup in the Vitamix instead of using my immersion blender. I like the silky texture that blending provides. Even after adding the cream, the soup was still very bright orange!

  • Hi Jenn
    This looks fabulous and will be trying it out this weekend. Instead of a blender can I use my food processor to puree?

    • Sure, Lisa – just don’t add too much to the food processor at once or it will leak out. Enjoy!

  • We loved this! And it was easy to make, even though I cut up the squash myself. The one question I have is that the red pepper skin came off and rolled up so the soup was not as smooth as I would have liked. I also sometimes have this happen with red peppers in other recipes. Do you know what causes this and how I can avoid it? Thanks! Making your potatoes au gratin tonight!

    • Hi Tom, glad to hear this was a hit! If those little bits of bell pepper are bothersome, you could strain the soup to catch those pieces of skin. Also, if you don’t mind the extra step, believe it or not, you can peel bell peppers.

  • Hello Jenn,

    Why would this recipe be so high in Sodium? I don’t get it. Is there that much Sodium in a TBSP Of salt?

    • Hi Tissa, a tablespoon of sodium has 6,976 mg of sodium, so that’s where the great majority of the sodium comes from. Feel free to cut the salt back and add more to taste if necessary. Hope that clarifies!

  • Finally made this soup, and it was fantastic, Jenn. Added more cream to make it creamier. Excellent! Kudos again!

  • This was delicious and so easy to make. Thanks for the tip about not adding the cream to the soup for freezing.

    Since my husband has a food allergy to bell peppers, I added a sweet potato and a carrot. Turned out great!

  • Can I add chicken stock instead of water

    • Sure, Carla, but I’d eliminate the added salt and just add it to taste before serving. Enjoy!

    • Made it for the 3rd time today, cold and rainy in Chicago. The house smelled wonderful, and it continues to rate the 5 stars we rated first time. Superb recipe!

  • For the freezer friendly version is there a reason why the cream can only be added after it’s thawed?
    Thanks

    • Hi Vanessa, I just prefer to add the cream when defrosting it because dairy doesn’t freeze that well. That said, if you’ve already added the cream and are freezing leftovers, it should be totally fine as there is only 1/2 cup of cream. Hope that clarifies!

  • I made this soup today. Didn’t have a red pepper, so I added sweet potatoes and carrots. Instead of 7 cups of water, I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Then I took 2 cups of the liquid off the top, added cream and curry powder. So Yummy!!

    • — Darlarae Osborn
    • Reply
  • After trying more complicated recipes, this is my “go to” recipe for butternut squash soup. Quite easy as the recipe indicates and delicious. The immersion blender is so handy here. I buy the cut up squash in cubes and save some time prepping this dish. Definitely worth a try.

    • Very nice. Seven cups of water is far too much for my tastes though- even four was too much!

  • Hey Jenn! Incredibly yummy soup (not a drop left last thanksgiving!!!). Thank you for sharing! Xoxo

  • Great soup for a chilly fall evening. I added a little pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of dried rosemary to provide a little for fall flavor. This is incredibly simple to make yet has a rich, depth of flavor.

  • My mother loves butternut squash, and this recipe seems so easy I can’t wait to try it. My only question is how long does it keep if I wanted to make a larger batch? Does it freeze well?

    • Hi Ae, this should keep well for 2 – 3 days in the fridge (and it freezes nicely too). Hope your mom enjoys! 🙂

  • This soup is wonderful! I did use half chicken broth and half water instead of all water. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly as written.

    • — Pamela hartman
    • Reply
  • Can I add coconut milk instead of cream? I am making this a a vegan soup.

    • Yes, that will work (just make sure it’s full fat). Hope you enjoy!

  • I used chicken bouillon instead of water and still I found it lacking in flavour. This is a no for me.

    • — Claire Van Allen
    • Reply
  • Definitely added a (1) red bell pepper and garlic (at least 5 cloves. Im a garlic hog), mind u, u can never taste the extra garlic!) Its just super yummy. This recipe is very yummy!!!!! Plus, just give the extra TLC if youre a good cook. You know exactly who you are. Xoxo. Eat great and love big.

  • No heavy cream needed

    • I agree.. Love this super easy recipe and tried it without cream for the first time today, and it was definitely creamy enough from the butternut. I also added a carrot and a zucchini and omitted the sugar.

      • Can you add full fat yogurt instead of cream

        • I wouldn’t recommend it, Shirley — sorry!

  • So easy to make. I added half an apple and a few carrots and found it didn’t need any sugar at all. I only had natural yogurt at hand, and used it instead of the cream. Added a teaspoon of grated coriander and ginger. My 5 year old is busy working through her second bowl. Deeelicious! Thank you!

  • This recipe in delicious and so easy to make. I served it at two dinner parties and many people asked for the recipe. It is a keeper!

    • — Lois Honigfeld
    • Reply
  • My family loved this soup and it was so easy to make. I used precut butternut squash. I think the red bell pepper added the extra zing for this recipe. It is definitely a keeper.

  • This year, our daughter who is finishing up her Physical Therapist Degree and the busy mom of a 6 year old. requested dinners for her birthday gift. So this was one of soups/stews I prepared for her. She loved it! So did my husband and I.

  • This soup is super easy and SUPER good! I did cut back on the salt and sugar. After reading some of the other reviews I can’t wait to try goat cheese instead of the cream next time. Thanks for sharing your wonderful, easy recipes.

  • Jen I want to make this soup but I don’t have any yellow onions in my pantry, I only have Vidalia onions. Will it change the taste of the soup? I really don’t want to go out to the store—it’s cold!!!

    • That’s fine, Toni. 🙂

  • I love this recipe! It was easy to follow and included minimal ingredients. I followed the directions and think it tastes great! I added a little extra cream and some black pepper for taste. My only issue was that it’s a little thin, so next time I will use less water. I recommend only 6 cups. Other than that, I will definitely make again!

  • Followed recipe exactly as written but added 3/4t black pepper. Absolutely love this!!!

  • As I started to build this soup, I immediately saw an opportunity to do something a bit different with it. I read some of the reviews and was concerned it may come out too bland. Plus, I’ve recently become a fan of some of the traditional flavors found in Indian food (no ‘heat’ added though).

    Here are the modifications I made if you’d like to add some additional flavor / depth to the dish:
    * Add one carrot
    * Add one celery stalk
    * Add fresh cracked pepper
    * Add 1 tsp of Tumeric
    * Add 1 tbsp of Curry
    * Add 1 tsp of Coriander
    * Add 1 tsp of Ginger
    * Instead of 7 cups of water, use 4 cups of vegetable broth and 3 cups of water
    * Reduce salt significantly (1 tsp) – add later if needed

    My wife asked me not to make butternut squash soup because she doesn’t like it. I made it anyway and she said it’s the best butternut squash soup she’s ever had and even went back for seconds.

    Thank you Jenn, for sharing!

    • thank you so much for the modification. It was amazing! I’m putting this in my permanent recipe collection.

  • Absolutely delicious! My daughter who hates and detects peppers in anything and knew I had put a pepper in this soup commented that it was delicious and that she would like the recipe to make it herself. Great as a leftover also

    • — Susan Campbell
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! I have made it several times. Using the cut up squash from the store saves time. I made
    It in my Instant Pot two days ago, 20 minutes cook time, and it turned out great. All of your resipies are family friendly. I have shared them with friends and family.

    Mary

  • This is now my “go-to” recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. Although heavy cream would have made it delicious and, well, creamier, I had to go with 1/2 & 1/2 to reduce fat content. I felt like it needed a little zing so I added nutmeg and then the family was happy with it. Thanks for another good recipe!

    • — Sue Alsdorf Rueff
    • Reply
  • I love the ease of making this soup.
    I added 1 T of Thai curry sauce..either red or green to give a more complex flavor.
    Then almonds toasted for a topping. Yum.

  • Can this soup be frozen with the heavy cream?

    • It’s best to freeze it before adding the heavy cream; when you reheat it, you can add the cream.

  • This is delicately flavored ( lovely with a few stripped sprigs of fresh thyme),but I am wondering if I could give it a little more body with a beurre manie, or would that change the flavor too much ( does it leave a raw flour taste?)- I have not thickened with anything but roux in the past. Thanks!

    • Hi Astrid, I think that would work; just go easy and simmer it for at least 10 min after you add it. Please lmk how it turns out.

      • It. Was. Fabulous!!!.
        After it was finished, I poured it into the electric pressure cooker on keep warm mode, and we dipped into it all day long until dinner was ready.
        Thank you for the recipe! Can’t wait to receive your cookbook in April.

  • Hello, I am dairy free for 28 days, have you ever tried coconut creme in lieu of heavy creme? Thank You, Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Hi Bo, I haven’t tried it but other readers have said it works. Please come back and lmk how it turns out if you try it that way.

  • Hello: I wanted to make this soup 3 days before Thanksgiving. After cooking, Will it stay in the refrigerator for 3 days, or do I have to freeze it without adding the Heavy Cream, then add it the day of.

    Thanks

    • Hi Frances, It should be fine for three days in the fridge. Enjoy!

      • Thanks Jen. I’ve made quite a few different versions of this soup and I must say, this is the very best tasting by far. I am sure my guests will agree also. I added a carrot, and used unsalted chicken broth in place of the water. Because my husband cannot have salt in his diet, I learned to cook without the salt. This is so hearty and tasty, and definitely comforting. Thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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