A handful of simple ingredients are transformed into this super easy roasted butternut squash soup. No need to peel OR chop the squash – just throw it in the oven to get richly caramelised, then blitz with the rest of the ingredients. It’s sweet, salty, spicy and the ultimate hug in a bowl.
Growing up, I was never a fan of butternut squash (or sweet potato or pumpkin for that matter). I always found it too sweet and cloying, but I’ve found that the secret is to combine that sweetness with something salty, and something spicy to create a gorgeously balanced, super satisfying combination of flavours.
This soup is the perfect example of that. Sweet nuttiness from the roasted squash, saltiness from the fish sauce, stock and feta on top plus spiciness from the warming spices and a cheeky drizzle of chilli oil to serve. Add the most moreish salted honey squash seeds for a lovely bit of texture, and this is a seriously gorgeous bowl of comfort, fab for cooler evenings. It’s also special enough to serve as part of a holiday spread.
I tend to shy away from using squash when I have to peel and chop it because I find it a tedious, hard job, so here, I’m skipping that entirely by roasting the squash. Not only does it cut down prep time, but it also means the flavour is intensified and much better than if you were to just simmer the squash in the stock. Roasting it allows it to caramelise and brings out the natural sugars in the oven, resulting in a deeper flavour.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Super easy to prep. No need to peel or chop up the squash – just split it down the middle and throw it into the oven.
- Perfect for meal prep and making ahead. The soup lasts up to 5 days in the fridge and freezes well.
- A wonderful combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavours and textures, perfect for cosy evenings or as part of a holiday spread.
- Butternut squash. One large squash is all you need here.
- Garlic. I’m using two whole heads of garlic but you can reduce this if you like – because the garlic is roasted with the squash it’s not SUPER garlicky and strong, it becomes milder and sweeter.
- Spices. To add that warming factor that pairs gorgeously with the sweetness of the squash, we’ll use ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli flakes. If you like, you can skip the chilli flakes.
- Fish sauce. This is the secret ingredient that I add to just about anything to boost the umami, savoury factor. It brings a deep saltiness that you can’t achieve with salt alone, and I promise it doesn’t taste fishy at all. If you want to keep this vegetarian, use a vegetarian fish sauce, or use soy sauce.
How to make it
Slice your butternut squash in half, lengthways, then scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the exposed sides with a little olive oil and salt. Slice the tops off your heads of garlic, then place them in the little cavity the seeds were in. Place the squash (with the garlic) cut side down on a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to get soft and caramelised.
Soften the onions in a little olive oil, then add the spices. Rinse your scooped-out seeds, then remove as much of the leftover flesh as you can. Toast them in a small pan, then add a little honey and flaky sea salt. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat to get super sticky and crispy.
Scoop the butternut squash flesh straight into the pot with the onions and spices, along with the roasted garlic (literally just squeeze the soft, roasted cloves out of their skins into the pot). Pour in the stock and the fish sauce (if you’re using it), then stir and bring to a simmer. Use either an immersion blender straight in your pot to blitz the soup into a lovely smooth consistency, or if you’d like it super smooth, transfer the soup to a stand blender. I like to do this because I prefer my soup very smooth, but it’s up to you!
Pour back into your pot and bring to a simmer, taste and add the lemon juice and a little more salt if needed. Divide between plates, then top with the chilli oil, feta and the salted honey seeds.
Got a question?
You can – it will keep well for 5 days, stored in the fridge and it’s easy to reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also freeze it (I like to do this in individual portions in ziplock bags).
The chilli flakes in the soup itself give it just a hint of spice – it’s still pretty mild. Adding the chilli oil to serve definitely kicks up the spice factor, but you can choose how much to use if you use it at all. If you’re cooking for kids or worried about spice, you can skip the chilli flakes if you like.
Not in this recipe! Peeling butternut squash is one of my least favourite kitchen activities, so I tend to skip it altogether if I can help it. Here, we’re just cutting the squash in half, then roasting the halves until soft and caramelised. Not only is peeling unnecessary, but you don’t need to chop it either.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print