Fall’s best bounty—butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and Granny Smith apples—are combined in a Healthy Butternut Squash Soup that’s perfectly creamy and delicious.
Seasoned with fresh sage and cinnamon, this naturally creamy vegetarian soup is dairy free, gluten free, and low calorie without sacrificing flavor.
With just 150 calories per serving, this easy recipe for Healthy Butternut Squash Soup includes directions for cooking it in a Dutch oven on the stove or in a slow cooker.
Healthy Butternut Squash Soup
Anytime I mention a recipe is healthy, my hubby automatically associates that with lacking taste. Sometimes it takes a little convincing that a healthy recipe doesn’t mean the dish will be tasteless.
Poor guy, he immediately thinks about rice cakes that “taste like styrofoam” to him! 😆
Far from that preconception, this Healthy Butternut Squash Soup is thick, creamy, and bursting with delicious complex flavors. A bowl of fall comfort!
What’s more, today’s Butternut Squash Soup recipe is low calorie, dairy free, naturally gluten free, and rich in fiber, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium. What’s not to love about that?!
- Butternut squash — the star ingredient! Butternut squash is a winter squash with a sweet, nutty taste.
- Sweet potatoes — use the dark orange variety for a more vibrant color to the soup
- Granny Smith apple — just one tart apple adds complexity to the flavor
- Sweet onion — I prefer Vidalia onion as it is not strong or bitter
- Fresh sage — or substitute fresh thyme
- Garlic — for flavor
- Vegetable stock (or vegetable broth) — Chicken stock may be substituted and the soup will still be dairy free, but no longer vegetarian.
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg — just a touch to complement the flavors of the squash, sweet potatoes, and apple.
- Extra-virgin olive oil — for sautéing the vegetables. Butter may be substituted, but the dish will no longer be dairy free or vegan.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper — flavor enhancers, add to your taste.
How to peel a butternut squash
- Wash and dry the squash with a paper towel. Use a fork to pierce the skin in several places.
- Place the squash on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for two minutes.
- Carefully handle the squash (it will be hot!) and wear kitchen gloves, if needed. Cut the ends off of the squash, then slice off the neck section.
- Lay the neck section flat on a cutting board and slice down the sides to peel. Next, slice this portion into 2-inch rounds and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Peel the remaining section of the squash, then cut it in half vertically and remove the seeds using a spoon. Again, slice into 2-inch pieces and cube.
Stove top instructions
- Sauté diced onion in olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot until tender.
- Add the butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and apple, cooking and stirring until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Stir in the spices and cook for 30 seconds to let them bloom, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Finally, add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the vegetables are done and can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the heat and blend the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.
Slow cooker instructions
Making butternut squash in a slow cooker is as simple as dumping all the ingredients into the pot at the same time! If you’re not in a hurry, the slow cooker method is super easy.
- Add all the soup ingredients to a large (6-quart) slow cooker at the same time.
- Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or for 3 to 4 hours on HIGH, until the vegetables are tender.
- Follow the directions for blending the soup with an immersion blender or food processor and serve.
- Instead of vegetable stock, try cooking the vegetables in coconut milk.
- Make roasted butternut squash soup. Toss the squash, sweet potatoes, onions, and apple in the olive oil and spices, then roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes until tender and caramelized. Heat the broth on the stove top, add the roasted vegetables, and blend.
- At the end of cooking, add a couple tablespoons of butter or heavy cream for a richer soup.
- Spice it up by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper, cumin, or minced fresh ginger.
Ladle butternut squash soup into bowls and serve with a loaf of crusty bread for a complete meal. Here are a few delicious topping ideas or garnishes for your soup:
- Roasted pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels) — these are great for snacking, too!
- Toasted walnuts
- Drizzled with coconut milk or maple syrup
- A dollop of Crème Fraîche or ricotta cheese
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 (3-lb.) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cubed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- freshly ground black pepper
- toasted pepitas, for garnish (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes, until tender.
- Stir in the peeled and cubed butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and apple. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
- Add the garlic, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, stirring to combine. Cook for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for 20 minutes, until the squash and sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. To use a regular blender, work in batches to process the soup until smooth. Add more broth if the soup is too thick.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with toasted pepitas and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
When blending soup in a blender or food process, work in batches to carefully ladle soup into the bowl of the blender. Remove the cap from the lid to allow steam to escape and cover it with a kitchen towel. Process until the soup is smooth, adding more broth if the soup is too thick for your liking.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a large (6-quart) slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH, until the vegetables are tender. Follow the directions for blending the soup with an immersion blender or food processor and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 567mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!