Butternut Squash Soup: Rich, Silky (and Dairy-Free)

A comforting bowl for fall

Now is the perfect time of year to make soup – we can almost see breath clouds while walking to school in the morning (it takes a lot of huffing), pumpkins are stacked on front stoops and the maples are showing off their fall colors.

Plus, Thanksgiving is right around the corner – I just placed my order for a pasture-raised turkey. Now I need to get busy planning our menu. Since we don’t have a huge family gathering and the duty to provide everybody’s habitual favorite side dishes, I try different recipes from year to year, just to keep things interesting. I’m craving chiles this year, for some reason, and might roast this Southwestern-inspired turkey.

This soup will be great on our holiday table. Made with my all-time favorite fall ingredient, butternut squash, it’s so smooth and rich-tasting you might think it’s loaded with butter and cream, but no worries! It’s completely dairy-free. The secret to its plush, velvety texture is in the ratio of vegetables to broth, and the addition of a little bit of potato for body.

Butternut Squash Soup: Rich, Silky (and Dairy-Free)

Serving Size: serves 4 - 6


  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 cup chopped celery
  4. 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  5. 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  6. 1 small non-starchy potato (such as Yukon Gold or Red Bliss), peeled and chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  8. 4 - 5 cups vegetable stock
  9. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  10. 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  12. Fresh herbs and toasted nuts, to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and ginger; cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the squash, potato, honey, stock and orange juice and zest; season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then adjust heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion hand blender until very smooth.
  4. Garnish with fresh chopped herb leaves (such as chives, basil or parsley) and chopped toasted nuts, if you like.