Stove Top or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

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Easy Butternut Squash Soup that you can make in a pot on the stove or in your Instant Pot will warm your body and soul from the inside out. Velvety smooth, and flavored with sage and thyme, it is just the comfort food you need for cold winter days. Light and healthy while still being satisfying, this creamy soup is naturally gluten-free and paleo, and can be made vegan. It is even a soul-warming addition to your Whole 30 menu plan. 

Stove Top or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme Recipe Image with title

I originally wrote this post back in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit our home New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast. I made this butternut squash soup for dinner the Friday before the storm and set aside the leftovers to photograph during the daylight hours.

That night, around 8:30 pm, we lost power.

By the next morning, we were hearing reports of it potentially taking days or weeks to get power back. It was still dreary outside, and we could see fairly large trees down through our neighborhood. So I had no idea when I might have a chance to photograph or blog about the soup.

It was now lunchtime on Monday. I was hungry. And after a stormy and stressful weekend, all I wanted was comfort food. So…

I ATE THE SOUP! You guys, that is the power this soup has over me.

24 hours later, the lights came back on. I could not have been happier! Except I had to photograph butternut squash soup, but I no longer had soup to photograph. Believe me, I was not unhappy that I had to make more. 

In fact, I probably ended up eating it about five or six times in the span of two weeks. But I loved every bite of Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme so much that I’ve made it countless times in the years since.

What I loved about this version is the use of more savory spices, versus the “sweeter” ones, like cinnamon or ginger, that you often find paired with butternut squash soup. Even when I make a slightly sweeter butternut squash soup, I like to balance it with something savory, like in this Butternut Squash Cheddar Cheese Soup and this Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup.

The Hubby always claims he doesn’t like soup, and yet nearly every time I make a soup, he says, “Well, you know I am not a big fan of soup, but this is good.” This soup actually got one of his most emphatic reactions – he raved about the flavor, the texture, and the thickness, and thought the crunchy creamy salty garnishes finished it off perfectly.

The texture was velvety, so a garnish of crispy prosciutto and pepitas added a salty crunch that was the perfect contrast. And the creamy texture is just from pureeing the squash, no extra cream needed. So this is definitely a healthy butternut squash soup recipe too!

Easy Butternut Squash soup topped with crispy prosciutto and pepitas

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

What do you need to make this butternut squash soup?

For making the soup, you’ll need one of the following:

  • Large pot – I like to use a heavy-bottomed pot, such as enameled cast iron. With a nice large soup pot, you can saute the vegetables in the pot, then return the pureed soup to the same pot to let it simmer. The vegetables can saute and caramelize without scorching. And while this soup doesn’t have to simmer for a long time, if you want to keep it warm, it can stay over low heat for a longer time without burning. 
  • Pressure cooker – I have made this recipe in the slow cooker before, but I really like to saute the squash with the aromatics, and don’t always want to dirty a pan before I then dirty my slow cooker. So the Instant Pot was the perfect option since you can saute everything right in the pressure cooker, then add the broth, seal it, and let it cook.

For pureeing the soup, you’ll need one of the following:

  • Immersion blender – also called a hand blender or stick blender, an immersion blender allows you to puree the soup right in the pot without transferring it to a blender. This makes it easier, with less mess to clean up.
  • Blender – you can use any blender you have, but for the smoothest, most silky soup, I love to use my Blendtec Designer 725. The Wildside+ Jar is nice and big, so you don’t have to blend it in batches, as you would with a smaller blender, and it gets perfectly smooth in seconds. You can even use the “Soup” setting to keep it hot while you blend it.  I am a Blendtec ambassador, and should you make any purchases through that link, I will receive a small commission, but that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 25% off. 

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Butternut squash – one large one, about 4 pounds, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Onion
  • Sage – preferably fresh, but you can use dried
  • Thyme – preferable fresh, but you can use dried
  • Chicken stock or broth – or use vegetable for a vegetarian or vegan soup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional garnishes – prosciutto baked in the oven or cooked in a pan on the stove until crispy, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), Greek yogurt or sour cream (or a dairy-free alternative)

How do you peel and cut a butternut squash?

  1. Using a large, sharp kitchen knife, cut off the top and bottom.
  2. Peel the thick skin using a peeler. You’ll want to make sure you use one that is strong and sharp.
  3. Cut the round bottom part off. Slice that in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and strings.
  4. Cut the squash into large chunks. Since it is going to be simmered and pureed for this soup, you do not need to worry about neat or uniform pieces.

How to make butternut squash soup in an Instant Pot or on the stove:

Here is an overview to show you how easy it is. Keep scrolling to the recipe card for amounts and detailed instructions.

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, or using the “Saute” setting of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper,  and saute until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  3. Add the sage and thyme, then add the broth.
  4. On the stove, simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender. In the Instant Pot, close the lid and set vent to “Sealing”. Then set to “Manual” mode and adjust the time to 10 minutes. When the timer is up, use the Quick Release method to release the pressure.
  5. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  6. Return soup to the pot, and heat it through.
  7. Serve in bowls, garnished as desired.

Is butternut squash soup gluten free?

Yes, since there is no flour to thicken it, this is a gluten free butternut squash soup. Just be sure your broth or stick is gluten free. I usually used the Kirkland brand from Costco. If you make or use a compliant bone broth and garnishes, it is also paleo and Whole 30-friendly.

Can you make vegan butternut squash soup?

For a vegetarian or vegan butternut squash soup, you can use vegetable broth and leave off the crispy prosciutto. Coconut cream is a dairy free alternative to the Greek yogurt that would be delicious for topping the soup.

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup in a soup bowl

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More butternut squash recipes:

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Stove Top or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup Recipe with Sage and Thyme

A velvety butternut squash soup, with the natural sweetness of the squash balanced by the savory addition of sage and thyme. It is so versatile because you can make it on the stove or in your pressure cooker depending on how much time you have. Plus it can be made with chicken broth and toppings of crispy prosciutto and Greek yogurt for a naturally gluten free soup recipe. But a few simple swaps give options to make it vegan, vegetarian, and even Whole 30 compliant. Everyone in the family loves it!

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!

Butternut Squash Soup

Stove Top or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

A velvety butternut squash soup, with the natural sweetness of the squash balanced by the savory addition of sage and thyme.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional garnishes: Crispy prosciutto or bacon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Greek yogurt/sour cream

Instructions

Stove Top Directions:

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  • Add the sage and thyme, and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  • Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to the pot, and heat it through.
  • Serve in bowls, garnished as desired.

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Set the Instant Pot to the saute setting, add the oil, and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  • Add the sage and thyme, and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the broth, close the lid and set vent to "Sealing". Then set to "Manual" mode and adjust the time to 10 minutes.
  • When the timer is up, use the Quick Release method to release the pressure.
  • Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor. If needed, return soup to the Instant Pot, and heat it through on the "Saute" setting or use the "Keep Warm" setting to keep it warm until ready to serve.
  • Serve in bowls, garnished as desired.
Nutrition Facts
Stove Top or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 88 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 172mg7%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Vitamin C 5.1mg6%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

 

Originally published November 25, 2012

 

34 Comments
  1. Such a story…I love that it actually did get you through these times. I can only imagine how scary/nerve-wracking/frustrating it was to be experiencing the effects first-hand. It sounds absolutely amazing…and ummmm…crisped prosciutto? Yes, please. 🙂

    1. I think the most nerve-wracking thing was my little guy who had cabin fever, but if it had gone on longer, it would have been very scary. Since I am pregnant and I think prosciutto falls into the category of the “lunchmeat” I am not supposed to eat cold, I am all over making it crispy now.

  2. Such a heartwarming story! So glad to hear you made it out ok. I was fortunate to not lose power, but on the other side of the mountain from me, they lost power for days. At least you had this soup to keep you warm as you waited! And an excuse to make it again, you know for photographs 😉

  3. We also suffered power outage for about 5 days and some trees uprooted in our backyard.But compared to others it seems like nothing and I consider ourselves so lucky to have survived Sandy!Your soup seems like the perfect comforting meal and I love the first pic!Gorgeous 🙂

  4. You were lucky to have power back so quickly. And also to have the soup to easily heat up for meals. I love butternut squash soup and it is very soul warming. I’ll have to try swirling in Greek yogurt next time.

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