Soupy Sundays: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and Toasted Squash Seeds

Maybe it's because I love the Fall weather and flavors, or maybe it's because I got to use my new Vitamix blender to its fullest potential last night, but this is by far my favorite Soupy Sundays recipe.

The soup is thick, creamy, and quite honestly, pretty heavenly.  It tastes like a big bowl of Fall, or at least how I imagine Fall to taste in soup form.

I started with Giada's recipe for Butternut Squash Soup in her book "Giada at Home."  Her recipe uses onion, carrot, garlic and fresh sage to flavor the soup, which really works well with the butternut squash flavor.
However, instead of boiling the squash in chicken stock with the other vegetables, I decided to roast it in the oven to really bring out the flavor of the squash, a trick employed by Ina Garten in her Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

No matter what type of blender you use to puree the soup at the end, I highly recommend working in small batches.  I needed about three batches to puree the entire pot of soup, but I'd recommend four smaller batches with a standard blender to really allow the soup to develop a creamy consistency.

As an added bonus, when you make anything with butternut squash, you can save the seeds and toast them in the oven just like pumpkin seeds.  The toasted seeds make a great snack and have similar nutritional content to pumpkin seeds.
The soup, aside from being delicious, is also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free when made with vegetable broth.  So you can basically serve it to anyone either on its own with a great piece of whole great bread or crostini, or as a starter to your main course.

Butternut Squash Soup (Makes about 5-6 servings)
1 3.5- to 4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 3/4-inch pieces (7-8 cups)
3 Tablespoons olive oil (2 Tbsp to roast squash, 1 Tbsp to saute vegetables)
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
10-15 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare two half sheet pans with parchment paper.

1. Divide the chopped butternut squash between the two half sheet pans and drizzle each pan with about one tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle each pan with salt and pepper and toss the squash to evenly coat it in the oil and spices.  Spread the squash out over the pan so that it makes one even layer.  Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, stirring once about halfway through the baking time, until the squash is tender and lightly charred.

*Hint: You can roast the squash the night before and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the soup.  It will really break up the cooking time and make for a quick and easy dinner the next night when you can skip straight to Step #2.
2. While the squash is roasting, heat one tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for a couple minutes.  Then add the carrots and saute for 4-5 more minutes.
Add the garlic cloves and stir the mixture for about 30 seconds to a minute, until you start to smell the garlic cooking.  Add 4 cups of the broth and the sage and bring the mixture to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer on low until the squash has finished cooking in the oven.

3.  Working in about four small batches (don't fill your blender more than 2/3 full), puree the squash with the broth and vegetable mixture in a blender.  Add about half of the squash on one sheet pan to each batch, and then ladle in the broth mixture until it covers the squash in the blender.  Use the remaining 2 cups of broth (that weren't simmered with the vegetables) to thin the puree as needed (*add about 1/2 cup of remaining broth to each batch).

4.  If you are serving the soup immediately, transfer the pureed mixture back into your Dutch oven or pot and heat the soup on medium-low until heated through.
If serving the soup later, transfer the soup to a storage container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  When I have a busy work week coming up, I like to store the soup in individual containers so that it's all ready to pack in my lunch bag.
Nutrition facts for one serving of soup, assuming you get 6 total servings (lunch-sized portions):

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 453 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 406%Vitamin C 65%
Calcium 10%Iron 10%

An added benefit of making Butternut Squash Soup is being able to make Toasted Squash Seeds with all those seeds that you had to scrape out of the squash.

To make toasted squash seeds: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse the seeds that you scrape out of your butternut squash (acorn squash and pumpkin seeds are great too) in a colander to remove any attached fibers.  Spread the seeds out on a half sheet pan lined with parchment.
Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle the seeds with a pinch of salt and cinnamon (or any other spices that you want).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the seeds become crispy and start to brown.  You may hear them pop once in a while as they're baking.  Stir after 10 minutes or so, and then every few minutes after that to ensure that they're browning evenly and not burning.
Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before transferring the seeds to a plastic bag or storage container.  I'm not sure how long these stay fresh because they always seem to disappear within a day of when I make them.  These would be great to serve right out the oven at a party with cocktails.


  1. delicious, I had no sage on hand so I used poultry seasoning and I also used fresh broth from a chicken carcass i made last night!!

  2. Glad you enjoyed the soup! Fresh broth really makes a huge difference - I always forget about that until I make a fresh batch of vegetable stock and notice the flavor difference in the soup.

  3. I also had no sage at hand, but I used several bay leafs and chopped thyme instead. Thanks for this recipe! it was yummy!