What Are the Different Types of Butternut Squash Soup?

Megan Shoop

Butternut squash soup is any soup with butternut squash as the main ingredient. This flavorful, nutritious autumn squash is very popular as an addition to comforting, harvest-style soups. Its lightly sweet flavor combines well with many other fruits and vegetables, allowing cooks to tailor their soups to their personal tastes. Many butternut squash soups are savory, but just as many are sweet, spicy, or a combination of all three. They can also smooth and creamy or rustic and coarse, depending on what the cook likes best.

Butternut squash soup.
Butternut squash soup.

The most basic butternut squash soup recipe generally calls for onions, cubed butternut squash, and chicken or vegetable stock. The onions and squash are sautéed together until they’re soft. A generous amount of stock is added to the mix, and everything is blended together with a hand blender to make the soup thick and creamy. Some cooks like to substitute the stock for cream, or add a little cream at the end of the cooking process. Others enjoy adding a few spoonfuls of sugar and cinnamon to the pot to allow the sweetness of the squash underscore the savory flavors of the stock and onions.

Adzuki beans, which can be used to sweeten butternut squash soup.
Adzuki beans, which can be used to sweeten butternut squash soup.

Cooks that love a sweet butternut squash soup have many flavoring options. The above recipe is often used, but with apple cider in place of stock. Chopped apples and pears are usually added to the mix, along with just a dash of cloves and nutmeg. Onions are typically part of this recipe as well, because they become sweet and flavorful when they’re caramelized with fruit. This sweet soup is also blended together and may be served either hot or chilled. Some cooks enjoy topping it with a sprinkling of toasted coconut or stirring vanilla yogurt into it as a garnish.

Adzuki beans are another sweet addition to butternut squash soup. These red, slightly sugary legumes are often used as ingredients in Asian desserts. They also complement the flavors of butternut squash quite well. The beans must be simmered together with the squash for about 30 minutes before they soften, but that is the only requirement for this version of butternut squash soup. The cook may use stock or cider as the liquid, add brown sugar or garlic as a flavoring spice, and either blend the soup together or leave it in whole pieces for a rustic feel.

Spicy butternut squash soup is also an autumn favorite. Many spicy foods raise internal body temperatures, helping those that ingest them feel warmer. Any of the above recipes may be made into spicy butternut squash soup with the simple addition of a spoonful or two of hot sauce. Some cooks may want to raise the bar by adding chipotle seasoning or powdered chilies. Butternut squash soup can also be made very savory this way, especially if the cook adds white beans to the mix before blending the ingredients together.

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