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This Silky Butternut Squash Soup is my THM-friendly version of Panera Bread’s Autumn Squash Soup! Enjoy it in a THM E meal and soak up the healthy dose of orange vegetables!
I tested this recipe 3-4 times last fall (and actually made it for our Thanksgiving dinner, which consisted of just Ryan and me and not a lot of fuss and fanfare). Nailing down the right combination of vegetables, getting that perfect balance of sweet and savory, and testing a few things like carrots, pumpkin, and fresh ginger in the mix was no easy task. Soon after I finally nailed it, I decided to take a blogging break in December because I was burned out; then that break turned into a break for January too; and February, March, and April have been a struggle of finding a working schedule that actually, well, WORKS. Two days ago I listened to a really good podcast by Food Blogger Pro that inspired me to be more efficient about categorizing my tasks (i.e. do certain tasks on certain days instead of trying to do a little of everything every day). I wrote up a tentative weekly schedule Wednesday afternoon, worked on 3 blog posts yesterday, and today – voila! You finally have the recipe for the Silky Butternut Squash Soup I posted about on Instagram on November 27th. 😉
Psst: keep your eyes peeled for the Cranberry, Apple & Pear Crisp as well as the Crustless Pecan Pie in a Bowl coming to the blog soon! You can CLICK HERE to sign up for my email list if you’re not already on it. Social media sites like Facebook only show my posts to a fraction of the people who follow me, so the best way to ensure you don’t miss new recipes is to sign up via email!
I used a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato in this soup for the best flavor and color. Pumpkin was not a good addition; I tried it. I also tried adding some fresh ginger, but my husband Ryan wasn’t a fan. (I love fresh ginger, but it turned the soup into something else entirely. Not a bad something – just not the Panera Bread remake I was going for.)
In case you’re wondering what I topped the soup with in the pictures…I made it so long ago that I can’t remember. 😛 I think it was some low-fat Greek yogurt. Or a splash of half and half. And a dusting of ground cloves or cinnamon? It was mostly just for looks, to be honest. I’ve seen other Pinteresty squash soups and wanted to try to recreate the look myself, even though I usually just eat this soup plain.
HOW TO PEEL A BUTTERNUT SQUASH
I have a Tupperware vegetable peeler that works great on butternut squash! (Doing the job with this vegetable peeler is much easier than using a knife, but you really do need a pretty sharp veggie peeler. This one has a horizontal blade rather than vertical, if that makes sense.) To peel a butternut squash, I trim both ends so I have 2 flat surfaces, then I hold the squash lengthwise on a cutting board with the bulb side down. I use the vegetable peeler to peel the squash from top to bottom, then I turn it on its side and peel the bulb part. Peeling a long, straighter squash is easier than peeling a squash with more curves and a big bulb.
After I peel the squash, I cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and cut the flesh into cubes. The smaller the cubes are, the faster they’ll cook. It’s not rocket science. Everything gets blended up anyway.
Since butternut squash and sweet potatoes vary greatly in size, I thought that weighing them would give you and me the most similar results in this recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scales I’m sure you can use Google to find the approximate size of a 4-pound butternut squash and a 12-ounce sweet potato.
CINNAMON STICKS: I find that the cinnamon sticks add a nice subtle note of cinnamon without making the soup overtly potpourri-ish. If you don’t have cinnamon sticks and don’t want to buy any, you could try omitting them and just add a dash of ground cinnamon instead.
LIGHT COCONUT MILK: Since I wanted to keep this soup dairy free for my DF readers, I used light coconut milk to give the soup some creaminess! I keep this ingredient in my pantry at all times because it’s so delicious in soups, curries, chia pudding, and even ice cream and desserts! (My second cookbook, Convenient Food, contains quite a few recipes that use coconut milk.) The can of light coconut milk in this recipe adds only 2.81 grams of fat to the soup per serving, contributes to the silky texture, and doesn’t make the soup taste like coconut (lest you worry). I like the Thai Kitchen brand from Walmart.
CHICKEN BOUILLON: I really like the Better-than-Bouillon chicken bouillon found at Walmart or a local grocery store. It’s high quality and has a really good flavor. Better-than-Bouillon is not dairy free so if you need to, use a dairy-free chicken bouillon or try omitting the bouillon altogether and use fat-free chicken broth in place of the water in the recipe. The soup’s flavor may not be quite as strong and mellow so compensate by adding extra salt and seasonings as necessary.
OAT FIBER: The oat fiber gives the soup more of the Panera Bread flour-thickened texture. Use a good brand that is light in color and mild in flavor, like LifeSource brand. It really makes this butternut squash soup smooth, silky, filling, and delicious!
You may also enjoy:
Creamy Broccoli Bacon Chowder – another pureed soup that I love
Creamy Sweet Potato Bisque – a delicious single-serve soup
As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission (but your price doesn’t change).
My cookbooks Necessary Food and Convenient Food contain about 400 low-glycemic recipes each, separated by carbs and fats and free of refined sugar and flour (like all the recipes here on my website). I grew up on my momma’s good cooking, and the recipes in these books are mostly just old family favorites made healthy! Now that I’m married, I’m gravitating even more toward quick and easy, and my newest cookbook definitely reflects that! CLICK HERE to check out my cookbooks in more detail and purchase.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks (broken in half)
- 1 (4 lb.) butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, chunked)
- 1 (12 oz.) sweet potato (peeled and chunked)
- 1 large onion (peeled and chunked)
- 6 large garlic cloves (crushed and peeled)
- 1 (13.66 oz.) can light coconut milk
- ⅓ cup collagen
- 2 tablespoons Better-than-Bouillon chicken bouillon
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons THM Super Sweet Blend
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon each chili powder, black pepper
- ½ cup oat fiber (use gluten-free if necessary)
- ½ cup water
- Bring the first set of ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup kettle. (I like to get the water and cinnamon sticks heating up while I peel and chop the veggies.) Cover and simmer until the ingredients are soft and falling apart.
- Turn the burner off so the hot soup won’t sputter in your face. Discard the cinnamon sticks and blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. (You can try using a regular blender for this but be very careful when blending hot liquids.)
- Add the second set of ingredients and blend again.
- Add the oat fiber and water and blend again until smooth. Turn the heat back on, cover the kettle but leave the lid open a crack to let some water evaporate as the soup simmers, and simmer for 15-20 minutes to thicken the soup and let the flavors develop.
- After the soup has simmered, check the consistency and feel free to add more water a little at a time if you think it’s too thick. Taste and adjust the soup to your preferences (more salt? sweetener? vinegar?), then serve! The soup will thicken a bit as it cools and I prefer the flavors when the soup isn’t piping hot. Leftovers taste even better the next day.
-The light coconut milk adds 2.81 grams of fat to the soup per serving, contributes to the silky texture, and doesn’t make the soup taste like coconut. I like the Thai Kitchen brand from Walmart.
-The collagen adds some protein to an otherwise protein-less soup. It may also contribute to the silky texture of the soup. Keep this in mind if omitting the collagen.
-I really like the Better-than-Bouillon chicken bouillon found at Walmart or a local grocery store. It’s high quality and has a really good flavor. Better-than-Bouillon is not dairy free so if you need to, use a dairy-free chicken bouillon or try omitting the bouillon altogether and use fat-free chicken broth in place of the water in the recipe. The soup’s flavor may not be quite as strong and mellow so compensate by adding extra salt and seasonings as necessary.
-The oat fiber gives the soup more of the Panera Bread flour-thickened texture. Use a good brand that is light in color and mild in flavor, like LifeSource brand.
*Gluten free: use GF ingredients.
*Nut free: most people with tree nut allergies can have coconut products, but confirm with your doctor first.
*Dairy free: use a DF chicken bouillon (the one I used is not DF) or sub fat-free chicken broth for the water in the recipe and omit the bouillon, increasing salt and seasonings as needed to compensate.
Here are some of the products I used in this recipe: