Saffron Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

4.84 from 6 votes
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This roasted butternuts squash soup recipe is creamy and so easy to make. It’s flavorful and naturally gluten-free and vegan.

three bowls of saffron roasted butternut squash soup on a blue backdrop.


 

When it comes to soup recipes, we like them easy and jam packed with flavor. Some of our favorite simple soup recipes are red lentil soup, minestrone soup and roasted cauliflower soup. Today I’d like to share this easy roasted butternut squash soup recipe with you that’s perfect for fall as an appetizer for Thanksgiving or a light weeknight dinner. Follow along to see how I make this delicious soup!

Why this recipe works

  • Flavor: While roasting butternut squash before adding it to the soup is considered an extra step, it’s absolutely worth it! The roasting process deepens the flavor of the butternut squash and makes the soup extra creamy. In addition to the caramelized butternut squash, the soup also gets its unique flavor from saffron.
  • Easy: You don’t have to be a seasoned cook to make restaurant quality soup at home. This rich and hearty butternut squash soup requires very few steps and just a few ingredients you probably already have on hand.
  • A healthier version: Unlike the classic, this is a healthier version of butternut squash soup that doesn’t use cream. It’s dairy free and gluten free, making it a good choice for hosting a crowd with different dietary preferences.
  • Make ahead: This soup keeps so well in the fridge and you can make it up to a day in advance and reheat right before serving which would be perfect for busy holiday dinners.

Ingredients and substitutions

to make this recipe you need butternut squash, olive oil, spices, saffron, onion and garlic.
  • Butternut squash: Make sure the butternut squash is heavy for its size and doesn’t have any soft spots. You need to peel it and cut it into smaller chunks to roast.
  • Olive oil: As always, extra virgin olive oil works best for both roasting and sauteeing the vegetables.
  • Spices: You need a combination of turmeric, paprika, cumin and saffron. To enhance the flavor, aroma and color of saffron, you need to bloom it with some ice.
  • Onion and garlic: This is one of the very few recipes which I suggest using only 1 or 2 cloves of garlic so the flavor of the squash can shine. As for the onion, any variety but red would work.
  • Milk: I find almond milk to work perfectly in this recipe with its very subtle hint of nutty flavor. However, you can use cashew or even oat milk as well. Regular milk, whether its whole, 2% or skim would work as well.
  • Vegetable broth: To cook the soup, you can use store-bought or homemade vegetable broth or even water.

How to make roasted butternut squash

roast the squash saute the onion and garlic add the roasted squash with spices and broth then blend and add milk and saffron.
  1. Roast the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the squash with olive oil, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through for even roasting. You can check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to roast butternut squash.
  2. Make the soup: As the squash is roasting, start on the soup. Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent and then add the garlic. Then add the roasted butternut squash followed by the turmeric and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Blend: Turn the heat off and blend the soup using an immersion blender. If you’re using a regular blender, make sure it’s heat proof. Once the soup is fully blended, turn the heat back on to medium.
  4. Final touches: Stir in the almond milk and cook for 5 minutes. Then stir in the saffron and cook for a couple of minutes. Serve warm.

Variations

To make this roasted butternut squash soup recipe your own, you can make a few modifications:

  • Spices: Use paprika, cayenne or red chili flakes for a bit of a kick. Other warm spices such as nutmeg, cumin, ginger, curry powder or cinnamon add a nice flavor to the soup as well.
  • Vegetables: Since this soup is blended, it gives you the perfect opportunity to sneak in some veggies that are either white or have the same color as the squash! I like adding a small amount of sweet potatoes or cauliflower to this dish. You can add these vegetables to the soup with roasted butternut squash and cook until they’re tender, then blend the soup.
closeup shot of soup in a bowl topped with dried mint, lemon and pepper.

Serving suggestions

Top this roasted butternut squash soup with dried mint and more Aleppo pepper for maximum flavor. Other toppings you can use are pepitas, grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley or chives.

This soup can be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner alongside other side dishes such as roasted sweet potatoes, sage and garlic buns and mashed potatoes. You can also serve it any other time with a simple Mediterranean salad or some fresh bread such as barbari or pide bread.

Storage and freezing instructions

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can reheat it using a microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat.

To freeze roasted butternut squash soup, let it cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. To serve, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat. If in a pinch, place the frozen soup in a pot over medium heat to thaw and reheat. Stir occasionally to reheat quicker.

roasted butternut squash soup in three different bowls with spoons.

Frequently asked question

Can you leave butternut squash skin on for soup?

I don’t recommend leaving the skin on for the soup. Even though the skin becomes more tender, the pieces will be visible in the soup even after blending. To make this soup creamy, it’s best to peel and discard the skin.

Do I have to cut the butternut squash before roasting for soup?

I like to cut the squash into chunks before roasting so each piece is seasoned with the spices. However, if you’re short in time, you can just cut the squash in half vertically (skin on) and remove the seeds and stringy parts and top with the olive oil and spices.
Roast at 425 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes until the flesh is tender. Scoop it out using a spoon and add it to the soup.

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely. You can doubled or even triple this recipe. Make sure to multiply all the ingredients and keep in mind that the cooking time will more or less remain the same.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a 5-star🌟 rating below. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter to get a free e-Cookbook!

4.84 from 6 votes

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Saffron

This roasted butternuts squash soup recipe is creamy and so easy to make. It's flavorful and naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1/4 tsp saffron strands, 8-10 strands
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil , divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper , plus more for garnish
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk , dairy or non-dairy, I used almond milk
  • 1 tbsp dried mint , for garnish

Instructions 

  • Ground the saffron using a pestle and mortar. Place 2 cubes of ice in a small bowl and sprinkle the ground saffron on the ice cubes. Let it sit at room temperature until the ice melts. This will be your bloomed saffron.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Toss the butternut squash cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Arrange on the baking sheet in one layer and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the squash cubes using a spatula so they roast evenly. Return to the oven and roast for 15 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmery, saute the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the roasted butternut squash followed by the turmeric and salt to the onion and garlic. Add the vegetable broth or 2 cups of water and bring it to a simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and blend the soup using an immersion blender.
  • Turn the heat on to medium and add in the milk. Give it a good stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the bloomed saffron and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve in bowls and top with dried mint, Aleppo pepper and lemon slices.

Video

Notes

  • You can also cut the squash in half vertically (skin on) and top with olive oil, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Then roast in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes until tender. Scoop out the flesh using a spoon and add it to the soup.
  • You can use a regular blender to blend the soup, just make sure that it’s heat proof. 
  • Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • To freeze this soup, let it cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 4 months. To serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat, or simply place the frozen soup in a pot over medium heat to thaw and get warm. 
  • You can use regular milk (whole milk, 2% or skim) or non-dairy milk such as almond or cashew milk for this recipe.
  • Double or triple all the ingredients to make a larger batch of this soup. The cooking time will more or less remain the same. 

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 1083mg | Potassium: 785mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 20429IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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