Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup is the perfect way to make the transition into Fall's cooler months. If you still have warm weather, this soup can be served chilled and is incredibly refreshing. But if you've already crossed into colder weather and are craving a warm bowl, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of homemade soup!
This is a creamy soup (texture coming from the butternut squash) with a bit of a spice kick from the cumin and red pepper flakes. If you don't like too much spice, feel free to decrease those quantities. It's also dairy-free and can easily be vegan (by using vegetable stock).
Since this soup can be served either chilled or warm, consider pairing it with some delicious Sourdough Discard Naan or Black Pepper Focaccia - perfect for dipping! Looking for something a little warmer? These Garlic Potato Wedges will help make this the perfect comfort meal.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This is a savory butternut squash soup that doesn't use any coconut milk or other milk products.
- This is an easy, healthy recipe that is packed with flavor and comes together in just 45 minutes!
- Soup freezes well, so you can make a big batch and store some for later!
- You can add your favorite toppings to make this your own: serve with crusty bread, fresh herbs, halved cherry tomatoes, or even red pepper flakes for additional spice.
- Soups are a great way to use up any miscellaneous ingredients you may have in your fridge - if it makes sense, throw them in!
As with all the best soups, this Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup comes together with just a few key ingredients. Always remember: better ingredients make for a better final recipe!
- Butternut squash: You'll need about 4 cups of chopped butternut squash for this recipe, which is about equivalent to one small butternut squash.
- Cherry tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes, but you can use any kind of tomato for this recipe. I recommend fresh rather than canned tomatoes.
- Red peppers: You'll need 2 fresh red peppers that will give this recipe a bit of sweetness.
- Chicken or vegetable broth: 3 cups of soup broth should be enough, but feel free to add more if you like a thinner soup. You can use either chicken stock or vegetable stock. I love to use homemade chicken stock - it adds so much flavor!
- Fresh thyme: Be generous with the thyme! If you don't have fresh herbs available, you can use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme to add a bit of flavor to the recipe.
See full recipe below for detailed directions.
Substitutions & Variations
Soups are a great place to use up odds and ends in your kitchen. Have a few things in your fridge that would be good to use up? Throw them in! Feel free to play with it and always remember you can add more broth if your soup is looking too thick.
- Clean out the fridge - Have a few shallots that you'd like to use? Substitute them for the onion. Have some zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, or other veggies that seem like they would work well? Throw them in! If you add more veggies, you can either reduce some of the other ingredients or simply add more soup broth to make a larger batch.
- Substitute sweet potatoes for butternut squash - Not a fan of butternut squash, or perhaps you don't have enough for the recipe? Use sweet potatoes instead!
- Use yellow and orange peppers - Instead of red bell peppers, you can use yellow or orange peppers for a light and bright flavor.
- Increase the spice level - Like your soup a little spicier? Add more red pepper flakes and paprika, or you can also add some cayenne pepper for a little kick.
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to make Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
This soup comes together in just a few easy steps!
Coarsely chop your butternut squash and red peppers. Toss with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Heat olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Mix in your spices, then add the vegetables (tomatoes, red pepper, and butternut squash). Top with fresh thyme, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
Let the soup cool slightly, then purée until smooth in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender, and serve with crusty bread.
Once you blend your soup, you can either serve it warm or put it in the fridge and serve chilled once it has cooled.
Expert Cooking Tips
- Since you're going to purée the soup, a coarse chop on the vegetables is fine! No need to spend extra time chopping.
- This soup can be served warm or chilled!
- You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding more soup stock (or water). If you prefer a thinner soup, add a bit more soup stock to reach your desired soup thickness.
You will need a sturdy cutting board, knife and baking sheet (these Nordic Ware Half-Sheet Pans are great) for roasting the vegetables. You'll also need a large Dutch Oven or other large pot (I like to use a Le Creuset 5-Quart Dutch Oven) to cook the soup.
Finally, you'll need a blender (I like this Cuisinart Blender), or an immersion blender to blend the soup before serving.
Refrigerator Storage: Let the soup cool fully, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat the soup on the stovetop, or in the microwave for about 60 seconds.
Freezer Storage: Soup freezes very well. Once fully cooled, divide the soup into airtight containers, jars, or even freezer-safe plastic bags, and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.
Yes, just make sure to use a vegan soup stock option (such as vegetable stock).
Once the soup has cooled, transfer the soup to a blender and blend in batches, or you can use a hand-held immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot.
I like to serve Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup with a piece of crusty bread, a bit of extra flaky sea salt and black pepper, and some additional fresh thyme. Throw in a few halved cherry tomatoes, as well!
Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 4 cups butternut squash peeled and diced
- 2 red peppers chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the chopped butternut squash and red peppers with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and spread on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sautée 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and soft. Add roasted peppers and butternut squash, tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme and spices. Top with chicken or vegetable broth and stir to combine.
- Add an additional 2-3 sprigs thyme to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes until all vegetables are fork-tender.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove thyme sprigs. Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender, or use a hand-held immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve warm or chilled with a slice of crusty bread.