Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Most cooks have one recipe that they break out to truly herald in a particular season and for fall, this is mine. It’s not just the color (which is pretty darned autumnal you must admit) it’s the warmth and the comfort. It’s my favorite sweater I guess you could say, only in a bowl. You wouldn’t want to actually wear it.

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
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  1. 2 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, then cut in half lengthwise again
  2. Melted butter, for brushing
  3. 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  5. 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  6. 4 tablespoons honey
  7. 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  8. 4 ounces heavy cream
  9. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 2 tablespoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. Place the squash, flesh side up on a sheet pan and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.
  3. Scoop the flesh from the skin with an ice cream soup or spoon into a pot and add the stock, honey and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender.
  4. As the blender is running, slowly add the cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine.
ALTON BROWN https://altonbrown.com/


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  1. 2
    Jessica Townley

    Wonderful! An accidental success! My fiancé recommended I make this for a “rent week meal” as we had a couple big butternut squashes to use up and he had leftover pizza to eat for dinner (he’s not a squash eater). I looked at the recipe and thought, “I’ve got some Thai ginger broth hiding in the cupboard and can sub butter and almond milk for heavy cream, and we have everything else.”

    First off, my squash were a lot bigger than the recipe intended. After adding the 3 cups of broth, I still basically had mashed squash. So, I added the rest of the broth (another cup) and a couple cups of water. Ok, consistency looks right. I love ginger, and it was a lot of squash, so I ran about a two inch chunk of ginger through my microplane grater. Then, when I went to grab the almond milk from the fridge, I saw a can of coconut milk sitting in the cupboard. After pondering for a moment, I grabbed the can of coconut milk instead and poured 2/3 of it, and then the whole thing, into the pot.

    So, I fished up a bowl and asked my fiancé to please try it for me. He described it as well balanced and said he’d be willing to eat it some time. For someone who doesn’t like butternut squash, I consider that high praise.

  2. 3
    Crystal Thompson

    I have a dairy allergy along with others. I made this with vegan butter and coconut cream. After completion, I ended up adding more salt, pepper, and nutmeg to combat the sweet note of the coconut. All in all a very yummy soup given that this is the first time I have ever eaten Butternut Squash.

  3. 4

    I think the complaints about salt should be solved by starting with less salt, then adding until it tastes good to YOU. That is a lot of squash to season. And the person who thinks it requires TWO WHOLE HOURS to roast butternut squash clearly has a temperature issue with her oven. I just roasted 3 large butternut squash in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes and they were perfect. Of i had let them go for 2 hours they would have been squash leather. This is a great, simple recipe that really lets the squash shine.

  4. 7

    This is the best! The white pepper and fresh ginger are perfect! I used 3.5 lb pre cubed squash and roasted it and it was easier and still delicious.

  5. 9

    I made this soup with a few minor adjustments. First, skip the butter and all that salt! I only used 1tsp of kosher salt and 1tsp of white pepper in the finished product. No need to screw up the roasting with added butter and tons of salt. Next adjustment was using pure maple syrup instead of honey. It was fantastic. The key to roasting any squash so it puree’s nicely is to roast the heck out of it – for this recipe I roasted the butternut squash for 2 hours on 325. 35 minutes on 400 is not nearly enough time! I also use this recipe and use roasted pumpkin for a creamy delicious pumpkin soup.

  6. 10

    I made three soups using the original recipe, one with coconut cream and the last with apple and coconut cream. I used a total of 2 Tbs salt and 1/2 tbs white pepper for all three recipes. I wedged some squash, some I cut all the same way and others I peeled before baking. My preference is to peel , but doesn’t seem to be a real difference. Here’s the results.
    No big surprise, Alton knows what he’s talking about! This was my favorite for flavor and thickness.
    Sub of coconut cream: if you like coconut (which I do) this is great too! Just a smidge less creamy, but make it if you don’t want the cream.
    Apples + coconut cream: not my favorite. I added more salt sampled it with more pepper, sampled with cumin also. It turned out less flavorful than the original recipe and less thick. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know how to alter it to taste “right”.

  7. 11

    How far in advanced can this be made and still taste fresh made? I want to add this to my Christmas dinner menu, and would love to make days ahead.

  8. 12

    I had the most delicious Butternut Squash Soup… and they added dried cranberries into it. It added such a wonderful sweetness to it, that I’ve been craving it since, and no other recipe has it in their methodology. I think I may try this version, and add the cranberries.

  9. 14
    Leslie Moon

    Made this today and it was delicious! My “don’t like veggies” hubbs loved it too! Squash straight out of my garden put to excellent and sophisticated use. Thanks Alton!

  10. 15

    I make this every weekend in the fall and enjoy it for lunch all week. It freezes beautifully. Sometimes I add a yam, or carrots, always onion and garlic, and often some curry powder. Yummy autumn deliciousness.

  11. 16

    I used 2teaspoons of the salt, which I think is what he meant in the directions. I used canola oil instead of butter, I don’t see garlic listed, perhaps the commenter was misreading the ginger as garlic?

  12. 19

    Is there an aspect of this that can be made ahead of time (like the day or two before)? Thinking ahead for thanksgiving this year, and want to make the day of as easy as possible!

  13. 21

    Love this. Due to family milk allergies, I use coconut creme(like thick coconut milk) from Trader Joes and it’s good everytime. You just need to simmer the coconut creme down a bit longer In my opinion. Last time I had some already prepped and frozen butternut squash and pumpkin. Thawed it and used it and it was just as good.

  14. 22

    For those who are wondering how much squash, it doesn’t really matter. Just a bunch. Nature doesn’t make these things in exact sizes. I do the same recipe, often without cream. I really like Elizabeth’s suggestion to use coconut milk. Gonna try that. Also, I often add 1 or 2 peeled and diced apples, which, when pureed with the squash, give a sweet complexity to the soup. I’ll be making lots of this since I planted butternut squash this spring and have about 25 big ones to use up!

  15. 23
    Elizabeth Sobon

    I will try this. I use a similar recipe, except I use coconut milk (full fat in the can) and some cinnamon and don’t use honey. I like my BN Squash Soup on the sweet, not savory side. It tastes like pumpkin pie!!! I don’t find the coconut milk adds any coconut flavor, just makes it creamy (and a better fat than cream). Mine does come out thick, more like pureed squash than soup. But you could add more liquid if you want it more soupy. For the squash, I am not sure about weight, but I usually get ones that are at least a foot long. After you make it a few times, you will be able to judge the size you need.

  16. 24

    Sounds lovely. My favorite autumn sweater is: Slow roast squash, bulb of garlic and halved onion in shallow pan in-situ until soft. scoop out flesh of all, and blend with butter and cream in food processor to taste, add stock to thin it if you must (but not much.) Serve over pasta with blue cheese and walnuts. So rich.

    • 27
      Joi Owen

      I made this yesterday with a single 3.25lb squash, and it came out fine. I even had extra liquid in mine (I used two 14 oz cans of stock, and a 8oz carton of cream because I didn’t want leftovers of those items.) If your amount of squash makes the soup too thick, I’d just add a bit more liquid to thin it out a bit. I think it’s pretty forgiving.

  17. 30

    “You wouldn’t want to actually wear it.”
    Don’t you judge my choices, AB. You don’t know me you don’t know my life. I will wear this if I so well please.

  18. 31
    Yvette Shockley

    You know I don’t want to correct you (I didn’t say anything to you about your YANKEE ball cap when we met) but I’m not seeing how long to cook in step 4. Or am I just that dumb/blind (probably huh?)? =o.~= @thinlinegirl

  19. 34

    Hi Alton! I’ve been wanting to try a butternut squash soup recipe even though it’s still in the upper 80’s here in Florida. I don’t eat dairy. Is there a good substitute for the cream, or should I just leave it out?

      • 36

        Thanks Marjorie. Does the coconut milk actually bring creaminess? Does it add a coconut flavor? I’ve used several types of “milk substitutes” before (rice, soy and almond milk) but none are really very creamy. I’ve never tried to substitute actual cream.

        • 37

          Try an Onion Puree… search on YouTube for it, from a group called “ChefSteps”. They use it as a cream substitute, and it’s supposed to work really well.

  20. 39

    Hey Alton! I was wondering….where is the garlic in the instructions? ? I love garlic perhaps more than the next gal, and I’m wondering if it needs to be roasted with the squash or blended in raw?

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