As winter settles in (ok, let’s be serious — it’s the arctic here in Chicago right now), I’m ready for all the comfort foods! I almost always have a batch of soup in the fridge, and this Butternut Squash Soup with Spicy Paprika Oil is one of our favorites! I consider this my “staple” Butternut Squash soup, as there are also so many wonderful versions that are more Thai-spiced, or mixed with other ingredients.
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Ingredients you’ll need for Butternut Squash Soup
Most (dare I say all?) soup recipes are incredibly forgiving. So if you have some odds and ends in your fridge, feel free to throw them in! The essentials that you’ll need are:
For the soup:
- Butternut squash: I like to be pretty generous and use a larger rather than smaller squash
- Yellow onion: always the start of a good soup!
- Garlic: please use fresh garlic cloves (rather than pre-chopped, or garlic powder – it’s just not the same). This soup will be pureéd, so you don’t even need to dice them — a rough chop is fine!
- Carrot: can be any shape or size. Since we’ll pureé the soup, it doesn’t matter the type of carrot that you use. From a color perspective, I would recommend orange, though (in case you have any colored carrots lying around!).
- Fresh ginger: this gives the soup some nice depth
- Soup stock / broth: I like to use chicken stock, but you can easily make this with vegetable stock or any other of your choice! You can also make your own!
- A few pantry spices including salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg
For the croutons:
Toppings are the best part of soup, and making your own croutons makes a world of difference. You’ll need:
- Crusty bread, preferrably a bit old: crusty breads like sourdough or an older baguette are prefect for this. And if you have a loaf that is a few days old and going hard, that’s perfect to make homemade croutons.
- Olive oil
- A few pantry spices including salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
For the spicy paprika oil:
- Olive oil
- Paprika (I prefer smoked paprika, but you can use whatever kind you like)
- Red pepper flakes
We’ll end up making more spicy paprika oil than you need for this soup, but you can store it in your pantry and use it for other things as well.
Equipment you’ll need
You just need a few kitchen basics, so hopefully you already have all of these materials. Two specific things to call out that you’ll need:
- A Dutch Oven or large soup pot: I love to use a Dutch Oven for soups, and my favorites are the Le Creuset Enameld Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven (5 quarts) and The Duchess from Great Jones (6.75 quarts).
- A blender or immersion blender: Personally I prefer to use a regular blender (we have the Cusinart Hurricane Blender and I love it). I could write a whole post on my dislike for immersion blenders, but if that’s your preference, you can certainly use one here.
Butternut Squash Soup FAQ
Do I need to blend this soup?
Yes, I would certainly recommend it. You can transfer the soup to a blender, or you can purée with an immersion blender directly in the pot.
How should I store Butternut Squash Soup?
You can store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3-4 days. I typically like to let the soup cool to room temperature before adding to the fridge (if you put it in while still warm, you’re just raising the temperature of your fridge and making your appliance work harder.
The croutons can be stored in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the pantry for about 3-4 days as well. The spicy paprika oil should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, definitely! You can freeze this soup in freezer-safe bags or freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. To reheat, you can either let it defrost in the fridge for 1-2 days before reheating, or let it sit at room temperature or in a warm water bath before reheating.
Freezing soups can reduce some of the liquid content, so you may need to add some additional broth or water as you reheat the soup to reach your desired consistency.
What if I like my soup thicker / thinner?
You can modify the amount of chicken stock that you add to the soup to make it thicker or thinner. If you feel like it’s still too thick, add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
Do I really need to make the croutons and spicy paprika oil?
No, you could certainly make the soup plain, or top it with other toppings of your choice. This is just the way that we like to serve it!
Below is the recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Spicy Paprika Oil. I hope you enjoy — let me know what you think!
Butternut Squash Soup with Spicy Paprika Oil
For the Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 butternut squash 3-4 lbs, cubed
- 1 cup carrot chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- roasted pepitas optional, for serving
For the Croutons
- 2-3 cups crusty bread cubed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
For the Spicy Paprika Oil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Butternut Squash Soup
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sautée until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sautée for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the butternut squash, carrot, ginger, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken broth and stir to combine. If needed, add additional water to ensure all ingredients are submerged.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the butternut squash is fork tender. Remove from heat and allow soup to cool.
- Transfer the soup to a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend soup to a smooth consistency. If you feel the soup is too thick, you can add more water as needed.
- While the soup simmers, preheat oven to 350°F
- Coarsely chop the crusty bread in the size that you like. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and evenly coat.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway, until they are browned and crisp. If you're making larger croutons, they may need some additional time. Set aside to cool.
Spicy Paprika Oil
- Before serving, heat ⅓ cup olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the paprika and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly, just until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- To serve, fill bowls with butternut squash soup, drizzle with spicy paprika oil and jumbo croutons. Top with additional salt, pepper and roasted pepitas, if desired.