Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

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A bowl of velvety smooth and savory Butternut Squash Soup is just the comfort food you need when the weather starts to turn cold. Light and healthy while still being creamy and satisfying, and it’s easy to make on the stove or in your Instant Pot. Plus it is naturally gluten-free and paleo, with options to make it vegan and even Whole 30-approved.

Looking for more than just a basic butternut squash soup recipe? Try Butternut Squash Cheddar Cheese Soup or Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup.

butternut squash soup in a bowl with a decorative edge with a spoon in it next to salt and pepper shakers

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

I originally wrote this post back in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit our home in New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast. I had been testing this butternut squash soup recipe leading up to that time. I made it 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. So after finishing up the leftovers while we were dealing with the storm aftermath, I had to make it again several days later to finally photograph. No joke, 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.

The Hubby always claims he doesn’t like soup. Yes, any time I make this particular soup he raves about the flavor, the texture, and the thickness, and thought the crunchy creamy salty garnishes finished it off perfectly.

If it can convert him, then I am sure you will love it too.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

What I loved about this version is the use of more savory herbs, versus the “sweeter” spices like cinnamon or ginger that you often find paired with butternut squash soup. The natural sweetness of the squash is balanced by the addition of sage and thyme.

It turns out perfectly velvety smooth and creamy, but without using any cream. That means it is healthy too, as well as naturally gluten free. I generally make it with chicken broth and love some salty, crispy prosciutto as a garnish. And a few swirls of Greek yogurt give it an extra element of creaminess. But a few simple swaps give options to make it vegan, vegetarian, and even Whole 30 compliant.

And it is quick and versatile. You can make it on the stove or in your pressure cooker depending on how much time you have. Plus you don’t have to take a lot of time to prep the ingredients. Since it is all pureed, a quick chop of the squash and onion, and a rough mince of the herbs are all you need.

butternut squash soup in a white bowl with a scalloped edge on top of a striped placemat

Ingredients

  • Olive oil: Or any other neutral oil.
  • Butternut squash: One large one, about 4 pounds, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Onion: One medium onion, roughly chopped.
  • Sage: Preferably fresh, but you can use dried
  • Thyme: Preferably fresh, but you can use dried
  • Chicken stock or broth: Or use vegetable for a vegetarian or vegan soup
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.

How to make butternut squash soup

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.
  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.

Instant Pot Directions

You’ll follow the same basic process, just instead of sauteeing the ingredients on the stove, you can use the Instant Pot “Saute” setting. Then after you add the herbs and broth, close the lid and set the 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. Proceed with pureeing the soup.

spoon set in a bowl of a creamy orange-colored pureed soup topped with crispy bits of prosciutto

Tips for Success

How to 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.

Storing and reheating leftovers

Refrigerator: Leftovers can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Freezer: Once cool, soup can be transferred to a feezer-safe storage container or heavy-duty plastic freezer storage bags and frozen for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating: The soup can be warmed in a pot over the stove, or microwaved in a microwave-safe container for a minute or two until hot.

Serving suggestions

All you really need to do is ladle your soup into a bowl and enjoy. But here are some ideas to make it even more delicious.

Garnishes

  • Sprinkle with prosciutto that has been baked in the oven until crispy, or even crumbled bacon.
  • Gently drizzle or swirl in Greek yogurt or coconut cream.
  • Add some pepiats or pumpin seeds on top.
  • Try Polenta Croutons or your favorite croutons for some crunch.

What to serve with butternut squash soup

bowl of butternut squash soup topped with swirls of Greek yogurt and pieces of crispy prosciutto with a spoon set in it next to a salt shaker

Things You’ll Need

Brianne Recommends
  • 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 – 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.
  • 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.
bowl of butternut squash soup garnished with crispy prosciutto next to a spoon and a cloth napkin on a striped placemat

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

A bowl of velvety smooth and savory Butternut Squash Soup is just the comfort food you need when the weather starts to turn cold. Light and healthy while still being creamy and satisfying, and it's easy to make on the stove or in your Instant Pot. Plus it is naturally gluten-free and paleo, with options to make it vegan and even Whole 30-approved.
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 or coconut 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
Healthy 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.

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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. Laura Hunter | Small Wallet Big Appetite

    I am so glad that your family was able to escape the worse of it. I absolutely love butternut squash soup and you gave me some inspiration with the crispy prosciutto you paired with it.

  3. Lyn @LovelyPantry

    This soup has such a lovely colour. Glad you made it through. So lovely that you were able to comfort your other family members with this soup 🙂

  4. 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 😉

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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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