Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage – The Taste of Autumn

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage (vegan and gluten-free)

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fall has officially begun! The autumn equinox was just two days ago, and right on cue the weather turned chill, the night seemed to creep into the sky a little quicker, and a few brave leaves started to turn color. One day it was too hot to open the windows, the next too cold.

I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced such a sudden change of season!

The beginning of fall has always been one of my favorite times. Time to break out the cozy sweaters and warm soups, and breathe in the crisp air before it turns frosty.

One of my strongest memories of fall is the smell of fresh sage. My mother had a little patch of sage growing in her garden, and when I was a kid I would pluck a few of its leaves, rub them gently between my fingers, and then press them to my nose. I’m not sure why it stands out in my mind as a fall thing, since sage grows from spring on, but something about the cool air must have attracted me to it.

Now that I’m all grown up, sage finds its way into many of my favorite fall dishes. Especially soups. I find it pairs perfectly with the sweetness of an autumn squash, and gives that added touch of coziness I really crave as the days get colder.

Fresh Sage

Do you have a favorite herb you associate with fall? Rosemary is another of mine, and it goes along perfectly with sage. I paired my soup with a garlic and rosemary crostini, and it took it to a whole new level. Soup and bread, rosemary and sage — they’re like soul mates.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage (vegan and gluten-free)

This soup is easy to make, and once the squash is roasted takes very little time to prepare. If you want to make things even easier, you can roast your squash a day or two in advance and make the soup when you’re ready. Just be sure not to toss the seeds — they can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds and eaten as a snack, or used as a garnish.

I kept my soup vegan, and didn’t miss the butter or cream one bit. It’s thick and velvety smooth, and with a drizzle of toasted hazelnut oil has plenty of richness. Of course, this is entirely up to you — this soup would be decadent to the max with a bit of browned butter and cream, or finished with a dollop of crème fraîche.

For garnish I like to use a pinch of the roasted squash seeds, which add a nice crunch, or a couple fried sage leaves. Other options include: toasted walnuts or pecans, apple chips with cinnamon, a dash of cayenne, or a pinch of brown sugar / drizzle of maple syrup. There are no bad choices, here!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage (vegan and gluten-free)

What’s your favorite fall dish? Let me know in the comments below!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage & Toasted Squash Seeds
Serves 4-5 — gluten-free and vegan

2 TBSP coconut oil
1 large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs)
1 small apple or pear, peeled and cored, diced
1 shallot, diced
4-5 fresh sage leaves (or about 1/2 tsp. dried sage)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. dark brown sugar, or maple syrup (optional)
4-5 cups low sodium vegetable stock, or water
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Optional, for serving:
a drizzle of roasted hazelnut oil (like this one)
roasted squash seeds (instructions below), or toasted nuts
garlic and rosemary crostini (recipe below)

1.   Preheat oven to 425f., and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds into a bowl. Do not discard the seeds!
2.   Place the squash cut-side up on the baking sheet and brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. While the squash is roasting, clean the squash seeds in a strainer under running water, removing all of the stringy pulp and rinsing the seeds thoroughly. Shake the strainer to remove as much water as you can, and set aside.
3.   In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the apple and shallot, and a pinch of salt, and let cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the sage leaves and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
4.   Using a spoon, scrape the meat of the squash out of its skin and into the pot. Discard the skin. Add the ginger, brown sugar or maple syrup (if using), and 4 cups of the vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5.   Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 325f. Lightly grease the foil-covered baking sheet you used for the squash, and spread the seeds into an even layer. Sprinkle with salt (and a dash of any other seasonings you like), and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the seeds are golden brown, stirring or shaking the pan every 4-5 minutes to keep them from burning. Remove from the oven and set aside.
6.   Once the soup is done simmering, puree with an immersion blender until smooth, adding more water or vegetable stock as needed to reach the desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer your soup to a regular blender (in batches, if necessary). Leave a small gap open at your blenders lid to let steam escape, and place a towel over the top to keep it from spattering. Puree until smooth, then return to the pot.
7.   Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with a drizzle of hazelnut oil, and garnish with roasted squash seeds.

Soup can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or stored in the freezer for up to a month. Roasted squash seeds can be kept in a plastic baggie at room temperature for up to a few days.

Garlic and Rosemary Crostini

1 demi baguette (or 1/2 regular baguette), sliced (I used whole wheat, but use whatever you like)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup good-quality olive oil

1.   Preheat oven to 375f. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small dish, mix together the minced garlic, rosemary, salt, and olive oil. (This mixture can be made up to a half hour in advance, kept in the fridge.)
2.   Place sliced baguette on the baking sheet, and brush each slice generously with the olive oil mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and toasty, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even browning. Serve warm.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Still hungry? Try these:

29 Responses to Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage – The Taste of Autumn

  1. Emily September 30, 2013 at 3:30 am #

    Made this tonight– delicious! I toasted my squash seeds with some curry powder, which was a tasty combination with the soup. The crostini were the perfect complement as well. Thanks for the recipes! Quintessential fall meal.

    • Willow Arlen September 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Sounds delicious! Glad you liked it. :)

  2. Abby October 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! I’m ready to sit at that table :) I agree with you, sage just says fall to me too.

  3. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes October 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Butternut Squash Bisque is one of my favorite fall soups! Rosemary always reminds me of fall, the smell brings me right into comfy cozy mode :) I am buying my plane ticket to day to snuggle up with Neko and a bowl of soup, you can expect me anytime between 5 & 6pm :)

    • Willow Arlen October 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Heheh — you’re welcome any time! :)

  4. shannon weber October 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    i think i just had an autumnal overload: YUM!! i make some sort of soup like this always during fall – i rotate with butternut, sweet potato, and pumpkin – but there’s always some sort of sagey component, because that just screams fall, right? YES.

    • Willow Arlen October 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Same here — I have a curried sweet potato soup I make almost every fall. I absolutely adore it, but I don’t crave it until the weather gets cold. So good!

  5. frugalfeeding October 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    A gorgeous coloured soup and what a pan! I always feel that sage and squash/pumpkin is one of my very favourite combinations. Perfect!

  6. Katie @ Produce On Parade October 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Wow, these photos are absolutely stunning, Willow! I am so jealous of your little copper pot too, how delightful! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful soup. My goodness! :) Cheers!

    • Willow Arlen October 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      Thank you! That little pot was a lucky find at a resale shop recently. I’m so glad I got to put it to use with this soup!

  7. Heather Foster October 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Willow are you a professional photographer? Your photos are stunning and mouth watering.

    • Willow Arlen October 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      Wow, thank you for the compliment! I’m not a professional photographer, but I like to think I’m getting to the point where I could be… just maybe. :)

  8. Amanda D January 8, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    just made this tonight! while the whole country is succumbed to a cold front, I figured staying in to make soup would be perfect, and boy was this an EXCELLENT choice! DELICIOUS! thanks so much for the recipe!!

    • Willow Arlen January 8, 2014 at 1:29 am #

      I’m so glad you liked it! It is definitely soup weather. Brr!

  9. susan August 29, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    Why are you here if you won’t show the recipe???????????????????????

    • Willow August 31, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      I’m not sure what you mean… the recipe is right after the last photo of the soup.

  10. Tara October 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    This soup recipe is amazing! This was the first time that I have ever made butternut squash soup–actually it was the first time I EVER cooked a butternut squash!–and it was amazing. This recipe is great, so simple but so delicious. I’ve made it twice now and this last time I added a couple of things: I added fresh basil to go along with the sage, about an inch of fresh ginger root (which I sauteed at the same time as the shalot and apple) and added a cinnamon stick to the soup when it was simmering. SO good!

    Thank so much for posting this recipe!

    • Willow Arlen October 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Thank you so much for your comment, Tara! I’m really glad you liked the soup, it’s one of my favorites. The addition of the ginger, basil, and cinnamon all sound wonderful, I’ll have to try that next time!

  11. Johanna December 2, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    Unfortunately, I worked the entire Thanksgiving weekend but had a Friends-giving luncheon this past Tuesday. I decided to go non-traditional and amongst a few other dishes featured your recipe. The first taste after puree was divine! I couldn’t believe how well the coconut oil played with the squash. Everyone who sampled it commented on how great it was. Thank you so much for such an amazing dish! I can’t wait to try others.

    • Willow Arlen December 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Johanna! I’m so glad you liked the soup, it’s a favorite around here. Happy (belated) Friends-giving!

  12. Renee December 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    Pinch of nutmeg. PERFECTION. Kudos to the chef

  13. Suzanne Sheldon January 22, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    This soup looks & sounds delicious! I just printed it out & am making it tonight. I just made a batch of veggie stock last night. The photography is exceptional, wonderful job!

    • Willow Arlen January 22, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Thank you so much, Suzanne! I hope you like the soup!

  14. Eva Kosmas Flores January 25, 2019 at 8:46 pm #

    I made this the other day for dinner, absolutely loved the flavor + texture! So comforting + silky smooth <3 Thanks, girl!!!


  1. Mayan Butternut Squash Hot Chocolate | With Lovely, - December 13, 2014

    […] in my Eatwell Farm CSA box. Some things I thought about making: butternut squash lasagna with sage, butternut squash soup, butternut squash gnocchi… but then “stormageddon” hit, and all I wanted was some […]

  2. The Multitasking Missus | Must Make Fall Favorites - The Multitasking Missus - November 17, 2015

    […] Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage – I seriously cannot get enough of this. […]

  3. Curried Kabocha Squash Soup - Will Cook For Friends - December 30, 2015

    […] a long time, this roasted butternut squash soup with sage has held the title of my favorite winter soup — which is saying a lot, because I’ve […]

  4. Crusty Chilli Bread – You are your only limit - January 18, 2016

    […] Now add to the bread a bit of zing in the form of chilli flakes and cayenne pepper and wow now your talking! Perfect with Butternut Squash & Sage Soup see recipe here by Willow Arlen […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.