Butternut squash is by far my favorite vegetable when Fall and Winter roll around. Though technically a fruit, this flavor packed squash is typically used as a vegetable in main courses and side dishes alike. I’m in love with the distinct flavors butternut squash can bring to any dish – nutty, sweet, and luscious. Plus, this squash can be cooked in a variety of forms including creamy sauces, stuffed inside raviolis, or roasted in the oven as a side dish of its own. While these are all delicious, butternut squash soup is my favorite way to savor this funny shaped fruit-veggie by far!
Why You’ll Love This Soup
I think it’s safe to say you’ve never had a butternut squash soup quite like this one. My goal with this recipe was to enhance the already succulent flavor of the squash. Therefore, I focused on two crucial steps to make this happen. The first was oven-roasting garlic and carrots along with the seasoned butternut squash. Oven-roasting the garlic and carrots rather than only sautéing them allows for more depth of flavor. The second was to use fresh herbs as aromatics heated in olive oil to release as much flavor as possible.
As a cook should do, I tested out my butternut squash soup recipe on coworkers and took some over to my best friend and her boyfriend. Upon tasting the soup, a coworker exclaimed that it tasted like the best parts of Thanksgiving. Another demanded the recipe immediately and, of course, I happily shared it with her. My best friend ate her first spoonful cold to taste it before heating it up and ended up eating the whole bowl cold she loved it so much. Needless to say, her boyfriend did not get any!
The Wine Pairing
This butternut squash soup can easily be enjoyed on on its own. However, pairing the soup with the right wine will make your dining experience all the better! Because let’s be honest, wine makes everything better.
Either a full-bodied white or an aromatic white will pair well with this soup. The white wine needs to be bold enough to stand up to the decadence of the butternut squash. An aromatic white would also complement the herb components of the soup.
For a full-bodied white wine pairing, I suggest one of my favorite varietals – Viognier! If you can, find a Viognier that has gone through malolactic fermentation. This fermentation will give the Viognier a creamy mouthfeel which will complement the richness of the soup nicely. If the Viognier has been through some oak aging, notes of brown butter, caramel, and vanilla will also agree with the butternut squash soup. Any tropical citrus notes that are prevalent in Viognier will counteract the spiciness of the soup too.
Gewürztraminer is the perfect aromatic white wine to pair with the butternut squash soup. This wine is made in both a dry and a sweet style. I definitely recommend a dry style to counterbalance the sweetness and lusciousness of the butternut squash. Look for a Gewürztraminer from Trento-Alto Adige, Italy or cooler climates in California such as Monterey and Mendocino. Dry Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France would also work as its rich, oily texture should supplement the soup. The cinnamon, ginger, and allspice flavors of Gewürztraminer are clearly aromatics that work well with butternut squash.
Please enjoy this incredibly delicious butternut squash soup recipe! I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comments below. Or snap a photo of your soup with the wine pairing and tag me on Instagram (@palm.and.vine).
This butternut squash soup recipe is one for the books! Time spent roasting ingredients in the oven and warming aromatics in the sauté pan packs the soup with a bold, flavorful punch. My original recipe calls for vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian recipe. However, you could opt to use chicken broth instead for added flavor. If you are vegan, forego adding butter at the end of the recipe. You will need an immersion blender or a regular blender to purée the soup. Enjoy!
- 1 butternut squash medium-to-large size
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cloves of garlic use 3 cloves if they are small or 1 if you prefer less garlic flavor
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 tbsp fresh sage chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 32 oz vegetable broth use chicken broth if preferred
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- red pepper flakes
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Wash the butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise using a sharp knife or cleaver. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Set aside.
Drizzle the inside of each half of the butternut squash generously with olive oil. Rub the olive oil to coat the flesh of the squash and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Place the squash flat side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put squash in oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit and set your timer for 30 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, complete your prep work. Wash and peel carrots. Cut carrots into 1 inch chunks. Wash and chop celery. Dice 1/2 of yellow onion. Wash sage leaves and chop. Wash thyme sprigs and de-stem leaves.
Once the squash has roasted in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the oven. Place carrots on the sheet pan. Drizzle the carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Smash 2 cloves of garlic with the flat side of your knife. Leave the skins on and place the smashed cloves on the sheet pan with the carrots. Place the sheet pan back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven after 15-20 minutes or when garlic cloves start to brown. Turn the squash halves face up and allow everything to cool for 10 minutes or more as needed to be able to handle.
Once squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop out butternut squash from the skin with a large spoon. Chop into smaller pieces as needed.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot (4 - 6 quart size). Add chopped celery and diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until onion starts to become translucent.
Add fresh sage and thyme to the pot with another drizzle of olive oil and allow the herbs to warm for 1-2 minutes. Sage and thyme should become fragrant.
Add the roasted carrots to the pot. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and into the pot. Season with a pinch salt, pepper, and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes. If you're not into spice, then forego the red pepper flakes. Stir.
Add all of the roasted butternut squash to the pot.
Pour in 32 ounces of vegetable or chicken broth. Cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Remove the pot from the heat. Carefully blend the soup with an immersion blender until the soup is smooth with no chunks. If the soup is too thick, add a little water as needed and blend.
Stir in 1 tbsp of butter until the butter is melted. Taste the soup and season with salt & pepper as needed.
Serve in bowls with or without garnish. I love to garnish with pepitas and fresh parsley or homemade garlic croutons.
Suggested wine pairings: