Rich, creamy, sweet – Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is a dutch oven full of fall flavors. If you like sweet potato casserole, you’ll love the warm spices and brown sugar this soup delivers.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Apple
The best thing about fall is the flavors; between fresh-picked apples, ripe from the garden squash, and straight from the herb box herbs – it just doesn’t get much better. The cooler days can have you almost tasting fall in the air. And the cooler nights beg for something hearty and warm. And while Apple Pie is most definitely, and immediately, on my list of classic fall dishes to make – we have to eat dinner too!
The best thing about using apples in any dish is the wide variety at your fingertips. Some recipes such as Apple Pie require a specific set of apples for the best results. Other recipes like this one are much more forgiving. So whether you’re in the beginning of the season where Macs and Honeycrisps are plentiful, or later in the season where you can pick your own Granny Smiths, like wine, if it’s delicious to eat right from the tree then it will be perfect for the soup.
How to Make Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Start by preparing your squash by using the tips below.
Next, prep the other ingredients for the soup. Cut the carrots into chunks, all of even size, and quarter the white onions. Add butter and olive oil to the dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop. Once the butter is melted, add in the carrots. Saute for 5-10 minutes until they are becoming tender. Add the onion wedges in and saute for another 5 minutes.
Next is my favorite part. Add in the cored and diced apples. Some recipes may have you remove the skin. However, since we are pureeing the soup and the skin of the apple holds the most nutrients, we’re going to leave it on. As the apples begin to break down, add in the honey, brown sugar, and spices. For spices we’re using a Pumpkin Spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and ginger) plus 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme. Adding the sweets and spices before adding the broth and squash will give the spices a chance to really cook-out, enhance flavors, and the sugars a chance to caramelize without getting muddled.
To bring this all together we will add the prepared squash and broth. Mix well and use an immersion blender to get the creamy, smooth texture Butternut Squash soup is known for.
At this point, you can store it to enjoy later or even can it to preserve for during the winter months. This recipe makes just over a quart of prepared soup. Leaving you enough to have a bowl now, plus a full quart canned for those winter months that scream for a hearty soup.
Note: The final step in this soup is to add cream. If you are going to can this soup, you’ll want to omit the heavy cream until you’re ready to serve. Then during the heating process prior to serving, you’ll add in the heavy cream. This gives a beautiful, silky texture to the soup.
Tips for Cooking Butternut Squash
Butternut squash has got to be one of the harder squashes to prep. Typically you would use a peeler to remove the outer skin on the squash. However, in doing so you’ll find a sticky sap-like substance that reveals itself and can make quite a mess. Some recipes will require you to do this step in order to get beautiful chunks, but since we are pureeing the soup anyhow, I decided to make this a little less labor-intensive.
Start by preheating the oven to 425F. Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, cut the squash lengthwise all the way through. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and inner membranes.
Next, brush a light coat of olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the “meat” of the squash. Place meat side down on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the squash. You’ll know it’s done cooking when the outer skin is browning and becomes fork-tender.
Flip the squash over and it should be slightly caramelized. Use a fork and/or spoon, to scoop out the inner meat.
Tips for customizing your Butternut Squash Soup
To make the soup thicker, you’ll want to use less broth or milk. My suggestion here is to start with pureeing the soup with only 2 cups of broth and increase as needed for your desired consistency. Likewise, the more liquid you add to the soup, the thinner it will become.
If you don’t have Pumpkin Spice on hand, you could substitute apple pie spice, or other fall/winter style seasonings. We’re really looking for a generous amount of cinnamon and nutmeg, with a dash of allspice, ginger, and just a pinch of cloves.
Need a little texture added to your pureed soup? If a bread bowl isn’t doable, simple croutons are always a hit. Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage bring a vibrant and slight disruption to the otherwise smooth soup. Cheese, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), almonds, and even cranberries can be a beautiful burst of flavor and texture.
One thing you may notice when using the dutch oven is that your soup is a little less vibrant than those you see online. If using a traditional cast iron dutch oven, keep in mind that your seasoning within the pot will affect the color of the soup. Also, if you’re like me and love a caramelized, slightly charred flavor to your vegetables – you’ll find the color darkens.
As mentioned above, you can certainly can this soup in a pressure canner. However, if that’s not going to fit your to-do list, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for about 3 months.
Serve it with
Dutch Oven Brown Sugar Butternut Squash Soup with Apple
- 5 quart dutch oven
- sheet pan
- Cutting board
- Measuring utensils and cups
- 4-5 pound butternut squash
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 medium white onions, quartered skin removed
- 3 apples, cored and diced
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 2-3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2-1 cup heavy cream
Roast the Squash
- Start by preheating the oven to 425F. Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, cut the squash lengthwise all the way through. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and inner membranes.
- Next, brush a light coat of 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the “meat” of the squash. Place meat side down on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the squash. You’ll know it’s done cooking when the outer skin is browning and becomes fork-tender.
- Flip the squash over and it should be slightly caramelized. Use a fork and/or spoon, to scoop out the inner meat.
Preparing the Soup
- Cut the carrots into chunks, all of even size, and quarter the white onions with outer skin removed. Add butter and olive oil to the dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop. Once the butter is melted, add in the carrots. Saute for 5-10 minutes until they are becoming tender. Add the onion wedges in and saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the cored and diced apples. As the apples begin to break down, add in the honey, brown sugar, thyme, and pumpkin spice. Stir to cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the squash and stock, starting with 2 cups of stock at first and adding more after blending to achieve the desired thickness. Use an immersion blender to smooth the soup.
- Finish by adding heavy cream. Stir and serve with your choice of toppings.