Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews is a warm, comforting soup, full with the flavors of fall. I have a really good memory. Colors, smells and sounds sometimes bring a rush of memories and feelings at the most unexpected times.

Butternut squash soup

All of a sudden I will be lost in the memory, like a time machine transporting me, back to a younger, more carefree time. I remember the first time I tasted Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews was Aspen, Christmas, 1991, at a restaurant called The Attic. It was the same restaurant we’d eat at every Christmas, but this night, as part of the prix fixe menu, I tasted Butternut Squash Soup. I could have stopped there, skipped the Prime Rib, the Yorkshire Pudding and the English Trifle. (This post was originally published on October 15th, 2012 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.)

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews |
Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews

Please sir, another bowl of soup!” I still remember the mouth feel and texture of that soup the crunch of the cashews and the hint of nutmeg. I asked the waiter, who asked the chef, for the recipe. The young chef, flattered, came out to our table with a yellow legal pad and apologized for the vague ingredients and lack of directions, “My recipe serves 200”, he said. “That’s OK,” I told him. “I’ll figure it out if you give me the ingredients.”

I recreated that soup, and now it’s on my Autumn/Winter soup list every year. It’s rich, it’s elegant. Perfect for Thanksgiving or as part of a dinner party.

Butternut squash soup

Well, I think all soups are simple…and way tastier than anything in a can. The original version was thickened with a roux (flour and butter), but I have found that if you reduce the amount of liquid, the squash will thicken the soup fine on it’s own. This also keeps it gluten free and lower in carbs. The original recipe also used heavy cream, which gives it richness and body…but I add just enough cream to bring it to the right consistency.

Making this butternut squash soup recipe

The original recipe required peeling, roasting and cubing a whole butternut squash which adds about an hour to the cooking time. And up until recently, this was the only way to make it. In the last few years, more and more stores are carrying pre-cubed butternut squash. While it’s more expensive, it’s certainly is more convenient. I’ve included directions for both methods.

Using a whole butternut squash

I’ve included this step in case you cannot find pre-packaged butternut squash or if you happen to be lucky enough to grow your own!

butternut squash
The butternut squash is a bit of an unwieldy creature to peel .

Peel the squash and then use an ice cream scoop to remove the seeds. Using a sharp knife or peeler, remove the outside skin. Cube the squash into 1″ pieces. I also use an ice cream scoop to clean out pumpkins for carving.

butternut squash cut in half

Making butternut squash soup vegetarian or vegan

The original recipe using chicken broth. To make it vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth. To make it vegan, swap the butter for more olive oil, use vegetable broth. Skip thinning with cream and add more vegetable broth or your favorite dairy substitute.

Safety note!

If using a blender to puree the soup, be careful not to fill the blender more than half way full. Cover lid with a tea towel and hold the lid down while blending. Here’s another blended soup, Leek and Potato, which is also perfect for cooler weather.

Making the “swirl”

You’ll need a squeeze bottle like this one, or a small jug with a fine spout. You’ll want to make the lines fairly thin.

squirt bottle

Make a spiral, starting in the center.

swirl of cream in soup

Use a sharp object, like a skewer or toothpick and drag it through the cream.

skewer in cream

Go first one direction, then the other until the desired look is achieved.

swirl of cream in soup

I think it looks like a fall leaf!

swirl of cream in soup

Top with toasted cashews and garnish with chopped thyme.

Finished butternut squash soup

I hope you enjoy this delicious autumn soup recipe!

Butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup With Toasted Cashews

Butternut squash soup with toasted cashews. Serves 8 as a small starter or 4 as a main course.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 145 kcal


  • 1 butternut squash about 2 pounds or 6 cups cubed.
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian/vegan)
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream use to thin to desired consistency
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)
  • 1/8 cup raw cashews chopped and toasted for garnish


Roasting and preparing the squash. Skip this step if you are using already prepared squash from the grocery store.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Halve squash and place cut side up in a baking pan with 1/2" of water. bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. Squash won't be fully cooked, but slightly tender. Cool.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel of outer skin and scrape inside to remove seeds and stringy fibers. Cut into cubes. Should yield about 6 cups.

Finishing the soup. Start here if you have cubed and prepared squash.

  • In a Dutch oven or large pot heat butter and oil until hot and shimmering.
  • Add shallots and stir, for a minute or two, then add garlic and stir.
  • Next, add squash and broth and bring to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaf, reduced heat and cover.
  • Simmer on low about 30 minutes until squash is tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme sticks, if there are any
  • Puree soup using an immersion blender or upright blender, until smooth.
  • Return soup to pot, add half and half or cream to thin to desired consistency. Finish with toasted, chopped cashews and a drizzle of cream.
  • To toast the cashews, shake in a small frying pan over medium heat until light and golden.


Serving: 1gCalories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 753mgPotassium: 453mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 10162IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon Affiliate Store.

Gluten free Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews.
Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews is gluten free.

Finished butternut squash soup

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  1. 5 stars
    Ok, you’ve convinced me that I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow to pick up a butternut squash to make this recipe. It sounds so delicious, and I can’t wait to try it! Love the story on how you got the recipe too.

5 from 14 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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