Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is a creamy, cozy fall favorite. With more protein than most, this vegan butternut squash soup is healthy comfort food at its finest.
Why You'll Love this Butternut Squash Soup
This soup delivers the classic cozy warmth you expect with butternut squash soup, along with a few additions to keep your taste buds intrigued. Hearty fall flavors and a rich, velvety texture blended into a nutrient-rich, easy-to-make bowl of BLISS.
This vegan butternut squash soup has a leg up on many others for a few reasons. The first being its protein content, which is nearly double that of most squash soups. The second is its flavor profile, which offers more intrigue with notes of ginger, curry, and pumpkin spice. (Just trust me, it works!)
This healthy butternut squash soup will make your home smell like an autumn dream. It reheats beautifully, making it perfect for make-ahead weekday meals. And, since it's dairy-free, it lasts nearly 5 days refrigerated. Top it with nuts, seeds, croutons, or a dollop of yogurt, and you're in the ultimate fall treat.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Butternut Squash: Nutty and naturally sweet, butternut squash blends to creamy perfection for this soup. You can either peel and cut a whole butternut squash, or go for convenience and buy squash already peeled and cubed for you! This time of year, you can often find pre-cubed squash in the produce section or most large grocery chains. Alternatively, you can use frozen butternut squash (read on for instructions).
- Pumpkin Puree: Perhaps a little unorthodox for pumpkin to appear in squash soup, however it adds quintessential fall flavor AND boosts creaminess. I use Libby's canned pumpkin puree, which has the best texture and flavor.
- Apple: Whichever variety you prefer, fresh apple lends tart, sweet flavor to the soup. I love using Honeycrisp or Gala, however you can also use Granny Smith if you prefer more tartness.
- Silken Tofu: The secret to the hidden protein punch in this soup is silken tofu. If you're typically not a fan of tofu, fear not: you can't taste it at ALL. It gets blended right into the soup so its texture and flavor goes completely undetected. You can find silken tofu near the produce section of most well-stocked grocery stores.
- Broth: For vegan butternut squash soup, use vegetable broth. Otherwise, chicken or bone broth will also do the job here.
- Spices: A mix of pumpkin pie spice, curry powder, and ginger add lively aroma to this butternut squash and apple soup. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, use a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Step 1: Sauté the Onion, Squash, and Apple
Heat a glug of oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onion softens.
Next, add the butternut squash and apple, and cook for 5 minutes, until the apple starts to soften and squash picks up some color.
Step 2: Add the Spices
Add the pumpkin pie spice, curry powder, and ginger, and stir well to combine. Let the spices cook in the hot mixture for about 1 minute, until they start smelling aromatic.
Step 3: Add the Pumpkin Puree and Broth
Next, stir in the pumpkin puree and add the broth. Increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil.
Step 4: Simmer Soup
Once the soup boils, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
Step 5: Blend Butternut Squash Soup
Carefully transfer mixture to a blender and add tofu. (Note: if you have a LARGE blender, like a Vitamix, you can blend all the soup at once. If you have a smaller blender, blend the soup in batches.) Remove center piece of blender lid; secure lid on blender, and place a clean kitchen towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatter). Process the soup until completely smooth, about 1 minute.
Lastly, gently pour the soup into bowls, add garnishes of choice, and serve!
How to Use Frozen Butternut Squash for Soup:
If you're using frozen cubed butternut squash, here are the best ways to use it for this soup:
- Option 1: Let the butternut squash thaw in the refrigerator overnight and lightly pat it dry. Proceed with the recipe as written.
- Option 2: Add frozen butternut squash directly to the soup and extend simmer time by 10 minutes.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash and Apple Soup:
This soup is plenty satiating to enjoy on it's own, however it also pairs well with a salad or sandwich. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:
- Salad: You can't beat this 10-Minute Warm Brussels Salad as a speedy, crunchy compliment. Alternatively, this Winter Chopped Salad with White Balsamic is a guaranteed show stopper.
- Sandwich: For a non-veg option, this Green Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwich will make for a mighty fine lunch. Or for the vegetarians, I can't recommend these Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches enough!
- Veggies: For a double dose of veggie goodness, serve this soup with a side of roasted or sautéed veggies. I especially love these Crispy Brussels with Maple-Mustard Glaze.
- Bread: Garlic bread, crusty Italian bread, fresh sourdough, or a baguette are perfect for dunking into this soup and sopping up the remains.
Recommended Tools to Make Butternut Squash Soup:
- Immersion Blender: it makes pureeing soups like this one easier (and safer) than transferring the piping hot soup mixture to a blender. I’ve been using this one for the last two years, and love it! It also comes with different attachments for blending baking mixes or frothing a latte.
- Blender: I love my Kitchenaid K400 blender, and use it very often. Some say it’s comparable to the Vitamix, just much more affordable.
- Dutch Oven: I use my Lodge Enameled 6-qt Dutch Oven for every single homemade soup recipe. It’s a staple piece on my stovetop, and has endless functionality. Lodge is also quite a bit cheaper than Cuisinart, yet just as good quality, in my opinion.
- Ladle: For transferring the soup to the blender (and to your bowl!), you need a reliable ladle. This one is sleek, affordable, and versatile.
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze:
- To Store. Store cooked and cooled soup an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat soup in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring often, until warm. Alternatively, place leftover soup in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1-minute increments, stirring often, until warmed through. If needed, add a splash of broth, water, or milk to thin the soup to desired consistency.
- To Freeze. Place cooked and cooled soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
If you give this healthy butternut squash soup a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Healthy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (Vegan)
- Dutch oven or large soup pot
- High power blender or immersion blender
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb. peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 4 heaping cups)
- 1 medium apple, cored and roughly chopped (I use Honeycrisp or Gala)
- 1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (sub ½ tsp. ground ginger)
- ½ tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
- 1 (14-oz.) pkg. silken tofu, drained
- Optional toppings: pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, or sage
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high. Once hot, add onion; cook 7 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add butternut squash and apple; cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin pie spice, ginger, curry powder, and salt; cook 1 minute, until aromatic. Add pumpkin puree and broth; stir well to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until squash is fork-tender.
- Carefully transfer soup to a blender using a ladle. (If blender isn't large enough to hold the entire batch of soup, blend in two separate batches.) Add tofu, and secure lid on blender. Remove center piece of blender lid and place a clean kitchen towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Process soup until smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds.
- Divide soup evenly among bowls and top with garnishes of choice.