Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only fifteen days away? I’m working overtime to make sure I can relax with my family on the holiday. I bet that if you imagine me on Thanksgiving, you’ll assume that I’ll be helping out in the kitchen all day. To tell you the truth, I really love kicking my feet up and being served a home-cooked meal for a change. Sorry in advance, Mom!
I’m not completely useless. I usually help throw together a salad (like this one) or bring some cornbread with me, which is great because I can make it the day ahead in my own kitchen. This super creamy (yet cream-less) roasted butternut squash soup is another great make-ahead option. In fact, it tastes even better the next day.
I designed this traditional butternut soup to complement typical Thanksgiving fare, like green beans and mashed potatoes. (My other butternut squash soup’s Thai curry spin doesn’t play nicely with turkey.)
This version would also be a great accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches and salads through the end of winter. Basically, if you ever get a hankering for homemade butternut squash soup, this is the recipe for you.
I kept the ingredients list simple so the squash flavor can shine through, but the end result offers exceptionally rich flavor. All you’ll need is butternut squash, olive oil, shallot, garlic, vegetable broth, maple syrup and nutmeg.
A little bit of butter rounds out the flavor and makes it truly irresistible, without weighing down the soup like heavy cream tends to do. (You can substitute olive oil for a vegan soup.) That’s a little trick that I used in my tomato soup in my cookbook, too. It’s by far the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever tasted, and infinitely better than any canned or boxed option.
Most of this soup’s flavor comes from the cooking method, which starts with roasting the butternut squash to bring out its caramelized best. Bonus! That means you don’t have to peel and chop the squash. Once the squash is out of the oven, you can start sautéing some shallot and garlic.
Then, this soup deviates a bit from other roasted butternut squash soups. You usually have two options. One, you can add the remaining ingredients to the pot and then try to blend it with an immersion blender, which inevitably leaves the soup disappointingly gritty. Or two, you can very carefully transfer hot soup to a blender in batches, which is always a little harrowing but yields creamier results.
I found a better way with this soup, thanks to the features on my beloved Vitamix Professional Series 750 blender. Instead of warming all of the ingredients in the pot, I just transferred the cooked aromatics and scoops of roasted butternut squash to the blender. Then, I poured in the vegetable broth and remaining ingredients. The container is 64 ounces, which allowed me to fit all of the ingredients for this soup without surpassing the maximum fill line, which is awfully convenient.
At that point, I just placed the lid on the blender and selected the soup preset. My Vitamix blended the soup into ultra-creamy oblivion and heated it up to the perfect temperature. It was like magic. Vitamix magic. If you don’t have one, now is the prime time to add one to your Christmas list!
If you’re planning to make this soup for company, you can serve the soup straight from your Vitamix or make it the day before and reheat it (in your blender or in a pot on the stove). Thanksgiving table real estate is always limited, so you might want to serve this soup in matching mugs or tea cups to leave room for the salad plates.
This soup really doesn’t need a garnish, but feel free to add a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper or some toasted pepitas for some extra visual appeal. For more meatless Thanksgiving recipe inspiration, check out my Thanksgiving roundup here!
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ½ cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Up to 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste (substitute olive oil for dairy free/vegan soup)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about 1 teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Then use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet (or large soup pot, if you’ll be serving soup from that pot), warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
- If you have a high performance blender like a Vitamix (see notes if you're using an immersion blender instead), transfer the cooked shallot and garlic to your blender. Add the reserved butternut, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can stir in any remaining broth later). Secure the lid and select the soup preset. The blender will stop running once the soup is super creamy and hot.
- If you would like to thin out your soup a bit more, add the remaining cup of broth (I used the full 4 cups, but if you used a small squash, you might want to leave it as is). Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend well. Taste and blend in more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve immediately (I like to top each bowl with a little more black pepper). Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!). Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.
If you loved this recipe: You might also enjoy my butternut risotto and creamy butternut linguine. View all of my soup recipes here!
This post was sponsored by Vitamix and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!