Quick and Easy Stovetop Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Browning the butter adds rich, nutty flavor.
  • Simple ingredients and stovetop preparation mean that this hearty soup is ready in no time.

If you want to make the absolute best squash soup, you're best off following Daniel's advice and roasting your squash before souping it. This concentrates its flavor and gives the soup a natural intense sweetness. But let's be honest: You don't always have the time or energy to invest in making the very best. Sometimes "just good enough" is good enough, so when I don't feel like cranking up the oven, I turn to this technique, which delivers a squash soup that's made 100% on the stovetop, in just about half an hour.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 4 tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)

  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 4 ounces; 115g)

  • 1 medium carrot, diced (about 4 ounces; 115g)

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 quarts homemade chicken or vegetable stock, or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock (about 1.5 liters)

  • One (2 1/4 pound; 1kg) butternut squashpeeled, seeded, and cut into rough chunks

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml) (optional)

  • Small squeeze fresh lemon juice

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown or white sugar (15 to 30g) (optional)


  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until melted. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly, until butter solids are lightly browned and the butter smells nutty, about one minute longer. Immediately add onion, celery, carrot, and whole thyme sprigs (if using), reduce heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add stock, squash, and bay leaves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook until squash is completely tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Using tongs, discard bay leaves and thyme stems. Add heavy cream. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a countertop blender, blend soup until completely smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add sugar if desired (some squashes are naturally sweeter than others). Serve.

Special equipment

Blender or Immersion blender


You can also use maple syrup or honey in place of the sugar if desired. Glazed pecans make a great garnish when serving. You can also sprinkle with minced fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or sage. Try drizzling with browned butter or olive oil if desired.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
129 Calories
6g Fat
17g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 129
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 638mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 21mg 106%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 604mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)