Roasted Butternut Squash Soup {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Winter is just around the corner (or it may have rounded the corner already in your neck of the woods), and since the weather outside is frightful, that means more time in the kitchen. Around these parts, if it's winter cooking, that means hearty soups and stews to be enjoyed while the mercury drops and the snow starts falling.

My personal favorite kinds of soups for autumn and winter cooking are squash soups, and this time of year, if you want squash, our cornucopia doth runneth over. Growing up, you could find one, maybe two different kinds of squash in your local supermarket, and pumpkins, they were just for carving and would vanish post-Halloween. Thanks to America's burgeoning foodie culture, you can now find many squash varietals at your generic megamarts, not just the usual suspects, like acorn and spaghetti, but true oddballs like calabaza, delicata, Hubbard, kobacha, turban – and there are more popping up every year.

That said, if I'm making squash soup, I'm going with my favorite, and that's butternut squash. 

Butternut squash can usually be found all winter long at most stores, recognizable by its bulbous shape and hard pinkish rind. Butternuts have a sweet, rich flavor and a high ratio of flesh to seeds. Unlike, say, a pumpkin, which takes a lot of hollowing out, a butternut squash can be easily de-seeded with a grapefruit spoon or ice cream scoop. 

Some recipes call for peeling and cubing the squash, but I like to save time and add flavor by roasting it first. The added benefit of roasting squash in the rind is that you don't have to peel it, the roasted goodness can just be scooped out of the shell when it's done, making it a tremendous time saver. 

Also, like many soup recipes, this one calls for pureeing the soup in a blender. You can transfer the soup to a blender to do so, but I recommend using a stick or immersion blender. A quality immersion blender can be found easily for under $40, and if you plan on making a lot of soup this winter, the time and hassle you'll save (raise your hand if you've ever been on the receiving end of an exploding blender full of hot soup) makes it a smart investment. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


2 medium-sized butternut squash, halved lengthwise and de-seeded

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup carrot, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

6-8 sage leaves

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

½ cups water as needed

1 tsp salt, plus more if needed

¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more if needed

1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the squash halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Brush the tops and inside of squash halves with one tablespoon of olive oi and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately one hour or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife.

3. While the squash roasts, heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the onion, garlic, carrot, sage, cumin, and paprika. Cook until the onions are just soft, about eight minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. 

4. When the squash is ready and cool enough to handle, scoop it out from the skins and add it to the onions, carrots, and garlic. 

5. Add the vegetable broth, salt, and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen minutes. Add additional water or stock if the soup seems too thick. Remove from the heat and add the cream.

6. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don't have one handy), puree the soup until smooth. Garnish with pumpkin seeds (these can frequently be found in your local grocer's bulk food aisle, if not, try your local Mexican market, as pepitas – roast pumpkin seeds – are a common staple of Mexican cooking)

Assuming you don't eat it all at once, this recipe lasts in the fridge for about four days or frozen for a couple of months.

- Dave Meddish, the Healthy Goods team

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