Appetizers/ Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Sage

butternut squash soup in green glass soup dish with yellow and white napkin on green placemat with stainless steel spoon

As soon as fall rolls around, butternut squash floods my local farmer’s market. I love the mild flavor of butternut squash, but I used to avoid cooking it because I hated cutting up that rock-hard vegetable. One day I washed, dried and stabbed a whole butternut squash a few times with a fork, put it on a baking dish, and baked it for an hour or so until the skin began to shrivel and the orange flesh was soft.  I let it cool, cut it in half and scraped the pulp and seeds into a bowl. The peel practically fell off, and I was left with a big pile of delicious butternut squash to cube for salads or make into my favorite butternut squash soup. Since that day, I’ve cooked butternut squash this way, and my fear of this delicious, versatile fall vegetable has disappeared.

Before I stopped eating dairy, I used to devour vegetable soups made with heavy cream. The buttery flavor of heavy cream makes any vegetable soup into a divine, satiny delight. Without heavy cream, vegetable soups can seem watery and flavorless. I’ve never liked the taste of coconut, so I was leery of using canned coconut milk as a substitute for heavy cream. It has a similar texture to heavy cream, but its flavor is worlds apart. To give vegetable soup a creamy texture without that coconut-y flavor, I stir coconut milk into a well-seasoned soup at the last minute and heat it just until the soup is hot, eliminating any telltale coconut flavor. You don’t have to add coconut milk to this soup, but it will give the soup more heft and will deepen the flavors.

Sage and apple pair nicely with butternut squash in this soup. I grow sage in my garden, dry it on plate on my kitchen counter, then crumble the leaves into an empty spice jar. Homegrown sage has more texture and better flavor than the store-bought variety, but either will work in this soup. You may need less if you use powdered sage. Adjust the amount to suit your taste. I like the sweetness of honeycrisp apples, but you can use any apples you want in this soup. A tart apple will give the soup more bite. If the soup is too tart, you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup for a rich sweet flavor. Since roasting brings out the sweetness in butternut squash, you probably won’t need it.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Sage

By Springhouse Turtle Serves: 8
Prep Time: 90 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Apple adds sweetness and sage adds an autumnal spice to this creamy fall harvest butternut squash soup.


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large apple (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F


Wash, dry and prick the butternut squash with a fork. Place it in a pan and roast in the oven for one hour (more if your squash is huge, less if it's petite). When you can easily poke it through with a fork, remove from oven and allow it to cool. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp (save seeds for roasting, see note below). Peel and cut into two-inch pieces. (This can be done a day or two ahead of time).


Core, peel and cut the apple into two-inch chunks. Set aside.


Heat the oils in a large skillet or soup pot with a lid.


Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sage. Saute until just starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes.


Stir in the squash, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sage. Saute for one minute until the squash is coated.


Add the chicken broth and the apples.


Cover, bring to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to a low simmer.


Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the squash is very tender.


Remove from heat. Blend with an immersion blender or transfer the soup carefully to a blender and puree.


Return the soup to the pan and add the coconut milk. Stir until heated through.


Serve in bowls garnished with a dab of dairy-free yogurt or a splash of good olive oil or a few fresh sage leaves.


Note: Don't waste those butternut squash seeds! They make a great, healthy snack. Rinse them in a sieve to remove any excess pulp. Put them in a small roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 teaspoon fish sauce. Roast them for 15-30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, stirring every 5 minutes or so to keep them from burning. Cool, then share! They are sweet and savory and my kids love them. I also use them to decorate pumpkin pie. Compost the squash pulp or cut it up and feed it to your dog. Mine loves it.

Springhouse Turtle Eats


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