Cozy Autumn Squash Soup with butternut squash, fresh sage, apples, cream and spice. I’ve made this recipe every year since I first published it in 2012. It’s healthy and satisfying comfort in a bowl.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: A Cozy Comfort Dish
Remember that crazy good Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese I shared?
Again with the apples! This time in soup. But not just any soup – quite possibly my favourite soup in the world. In this heartwarming potage, earthy butternut squash plays beautifully off of sweet-tart apples and warm spices.
Five spice powder is a wonderfully aromatic blend of spices used in Chinese cuisine – cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds and star anise. It hints at pumpkin pie, but is a touch more exotic. It’s worth looking for (and makes this soup really special!) but if you can’t find it, allspice can be used in a pinch.
The squash and apples are simmered until completely soft, before being blitzed with an immersion blender. The rich, creamy soup that results tastes indulgent even without actual cream, but a splash does take it over the top; I add it when serving to special guests.
Why Does This Butternut Squash and Apple Soup Taste So Good?
This soup offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures that make it irresistibly delicious:
- Sweet and savory: The natural sweetness of butternut squash pairs perfectly with the tartness of apple, creating a rich and complex flavor profile.
- Aromatic spices: The Chinese five-spice and sage introduce layers of warm, aromatic notes that elevate the dish.
- Creamy texture: Optional cream gives the soup a velvety mouthfeel, adding richness and depth.
- Savory base: The chicken stock provides a salty, savory base that complements the sweet and aromatic ingredients.
Grab These Tools
To prepare this comforting soup, you’ll need:
- Large pot: For sautéing and simmering all the ingredients.
- Cutting board and knife: For chopping the vegetables and apple.
- Immersion blender or regular blender: For pureeing the soup to a smooth consistency.
- Measuring cups and spoons: For precise ingredient amounts.
- Wooden spoon: For stirring the ingredients while cooking.
How to Make Autumn Squash Soup: Easy Step-by-Step Directions
Making this soup is a straightforward process:
- Melt butter: Start by melting the butter in a large pot to sauté the onions.
- Sauté onions: Soften the onions in the melted butter until translucent, laying the foundation for the soup’s flavor.
- Add main ingredients: Put in the chopped butternut squash and apple, forming the soup’s base.
- Pour and season: Add the chicken stock, Chinese five-spice, and sage, which will provide the main flavors.
- Boil and simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer until the squash is soft.
- Puree: Use an immersion blender or regular blender to achieve a creamy consistency.
- Optional cream: Stir in cream if using, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make Ahead and Storage
This soup is perfect for making ahead and storing:
- Freeze: The soup freezes beautifully; just omit the cream and add it during reheating.
- Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Reheat: Simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
Notes, Pro Tips, and Science-Based Secrets
Here are some pro tips to make your soup even better:
- Apple choice: A tart apple like Granny Smith works well, while a sweeter apple can add extra natural sugar.
- Spice substitutes: If you can’t find Chinese five-spice, a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon can work too.
- Vegan option: Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock and omit the cream or use a plant-based alternative.
- Texture: For a chunkier soup, only partially puree the mixture.
How to Serve This Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Serving this soup allows for some versatility:
- Can I use frozen butternut squash?: Yes, just adjust the cooking time as needed.
- Is the cream necessary?: No, the soup is delicious even without it, but it adds extra richness.
- How can I make it spicier?: Add a dash of cayenne pepper for some heat.
- Can I double the recipe?: Absolutely, just make sure your pot is large enough to accommodate.
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to enjoy this delicious, comforting Autumn Squash Soup!
Autumn Squash Soup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and chopped
- 1 large apple peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 L 1 quart chicken stock
- ⅛ tsp chinese five spice
- 1 tbsp fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
- ½ cup cream optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until just translucent, not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add squash and apple, then stir in chicken stock, five spice and sage. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash is very soft, about 30 minutes.
- Puree soup using an immersion blender, or else puree in batches using a regular blender. Stir in cream, if using, and return to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD