Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Soup
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
The trouble with the butternut squash soup I make again and again every winter is that it takes so much time: 45 minutes to roast the squash, 30 minutes to simmer it with the stock, and 15 minutes here and there for prepping. Although much of the time is hands off, I never feel I can whip it up on a weeknight.
So when I saw this recipe for butternut squash soup with cider and sour cream, which apparently could be “made in a flash,” a few things caught my eye:
- In step 1, onion and garlic simmer in a small amount of water — not butter or oil — for about five minutes.
- In step 2, the squash cubes steam in stock (or water) for 20 minutes.
- In step 3, the soup is puréed with apple cider and sour cream, and then it’s done.
I followed the recipe to a T and was pleased to discover that a completely flavorful soup had materialized in 30 minutes start to finish. As the onions and garlic cooked down in the water, I was able to peel, seed and cube the squash. And the puréed soup needed nothing more than a pinch of salt and a splash of stock before it was ready for serving.
I’ve made this soup, which is at once light and comforting, three times in a week, and the past few evenings, I’ve been serving it with flatbread topped with olive oil, sea salt, and minced sage and rosemary, two of butternut squash’s best pals.
With Lahey dough stored in the fridge, this meal comes together in a flash and couldn’t taste more like fall, the fragrant herbs so nicely complementing the squash and the subtle sweetness of the apple, the tangy sour cream balancing it all out.
PS: ALL the soups right here → Soup
This soup begins with simmering minced onions or shallots and garlic in water…
…until they are soft and the liquid has nearly evaporated:
Eight cups of cubed butternut squash…
…steam for 20 minutes in a cup of chicken stock:
After the soup is partially puréed, apple cider and sour cream enter the pot:
Sometimes I have to add a bit more stock at the end to thin it out, but most of the time, it purées into a silky smooth consistency that needs little doctoring:
Last week a friend dropped off the most fragrant rosemary and sage from her garden. We have been sprinkling it over flatbreads for the past three days:
Another great use for these quart storage containers: Lahey pizza dough. A quart container might feel unnecessarily large for one round of dough, but I’ve had lids of pint containers pushed off by expanding dough after a day or two in the fridge.
Olive oil, sage, rosemary, sea salt:
Five minutes on the Baking Steel:
7 Secrets to Mastering Pizza at Home
Always Free. Unsubscribe Anytime.
Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Soup
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8
Adapted from Food52 and The Essential New York Times Cookbook. I have made a double quantity here and have made a few minor adjustments: onion for shallot, no garnish, a bit more chicken stock…that’s about it.
Find the Herbed Flatbread Recipe Here.
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 8 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup chicken stock (or water), preferably homemade, plus more for thinning out as needed
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Cracked black pepper
- Bread for serving
- Heat a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to let them burn, 5 to 7 minutes — the water will be nearly evaporated.
- Add the squash and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, purée until roughly smooth. (Alternatively, carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Holding the top down with a towel, blend until smooth.) Add the cider, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, and salt. Continue blending until well combined. Taste, add more salt if necessary. (I often add another teaspoon of kosher salt.) Add more sour cream if desired (I always do.). Thin out with more stock — you may need as much as another cup of stock. Taste, adjust seasoning again as necessary. Serve immediately with good bread.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: butternut, squash, soup, cider, sour cream, fast, easy, fall
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
47 Comments on “Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Soup”
Looks awesome! Little squash soup tip–roast it on a Sunday, let cool, stick in fridge, make soup on Monday night, throwing a roughly chopped onion, a couple of garlic cloves, and a carrot if you have one. No sauteeing anything. A swig of olive oil in the boiling mix. Then you puree it all. The only way I have figured out to get a squash soup on the table on a weeknight. But I will try this next time.
Do you by chance have metric measurements for that pear almond cake?
I hope you are well!
Mama Poule! What a treat to see your name! Great tip — that is something I could see myself doing. Love the no sautéing, love the swig of olive oil, love the simplicity of it all — sounds delicious.
Alas, I do not have the metric measurements for all of the ingredients in the cake, but I did use 130 g flour, and I used all-purpose not cake flour, and based on my Chez Panisse almond torte recipe (which this pear cake is based on), I used 200g almond paste, which is 7 oz.: https://alexandracooks.com/2012/12/14/chez-panisse-almond-torte/ Two sticks of butter is 8 oz, which is 227 g (about), and for the sugar, based on a few other recipes where I did use metric, it should be about 176 g, so in sum:
130 g flour
200 g almond paste
227 g butter
176 g sugar
Also, I didn’t use any almond extract because I didn’t have it, and I thought it was plenty almondy, though I’m sure a splash is nice. I used 2 teaspoons vanilla instead.
Hope you are well, too!
I know, I know, I sort of disappeared for a while. I’ve been reading, just not commenting. It has been so, so, so busy here. So busy that even cooking has been a survival exercise. I kind of don’t like that – it is actually the new stuff and the fun and the experimenting that make it easy to keep going back into the kitchen. Life is sort of slowing down and the kitchen mojo seems to be on its way back though – which is great!!
Thanks for the metric measurements – I guess I could have googled them but honestly at the time the idea sounded just insurmountable. So thanks for obliging me 🙂
And BTW – I have my mom making your rhubarb buckle constantly. They don’t have rhubarb where she lives, so I bought her a plant, schlepped it on the plane, she planted it (it is perennial) and now she makes the buckle regularly. I thought it would make you happy to know this 🙂
Oh, I am sure! And glad to hear the mojo is coming back 🙂
My pleasure re metric measurements. I hate when recipes aren’t provided in both weight and volume amounts, and I should be better about doing this with all of my recipes, too.
And I am thrilled to hear about the rhubarb buckle! I love that you schlepped a rhubarb plant on the airplane. I need to plant one in my yard. Rhubarb season here was so much longer than anywhere I have ever lived — I think it thrives in these cold climates. And I’ve heard that you just cut back the stalks, and it keeps on growing…amazing! So great to hear from you as always.
I’m always up to try another version of pumpkin soup.
Me too 🙂 Kind of like kale salads…you can never have too many?
Thank you, Helene! We had it for dinner again this evening, though tonight we topped the dough with bacon in addition to the herbs….yummy!
Love rosemary and sage flatbread! Looks absolutely delish!
Thank you Katya!
I made butternut squash soup yesterday (before I saw this genius recipe of yours) and it did indeed take 45 minutes. And all that chopping! I’ll be making this one next. And that cake, yes I’ll definitely be making that too.
Talley, you will love that cake! Have you made a Balzano apple cake this fall yet? It’s high on my to-do list for this weekend. XO!
I love everything about this, I don’t even know where to start! 30-minute soup? Sweated aromatics in water? AHHH herbed flatbread on the pizza steel! Your photos are so lovely Ali. I can’t wait til this graces our dinner table. It won’t be as pretty but I’m sure it will be DELICIOUS. Gosh! You are the Pizza Whisperer.
It WAS delicious! In a miracle of wonderfulness, my husband is home in the evenings for the next two weeks (he had been working swing shift)…. we made this soup together last night and some flatbread, too. It was so bomb! I think part of the success is that I measured…. I should start doing that more often 🙂 🙂 Thanks for a warming and lovely dinner, xo!
So happy to hear this, Sophie! I measure with this soup, too — that’s a lot of apple cider to eye, and for the taste being subtle, I wouldn’t think it would need so much. Happy your husband is home, too…so fun!
The squash is simmering right now, I made the dough yesterday, THIS IS HAPPENING. The only problem is that I suffer from having a crappy renter’s oven that can only go up to about 400, after an hour of preheating (I miss popovers so much it hurts) . I’m about to try the “cast iron skillet/broiler” pizza cooking method, wish me luck…I’m sensing a few burns in my immediate future.
Laura, did this work well for you? I’ve had luck using my cast-iron and broiler combo — as long as I keep a close eye 🙂
Oh, Laura, I hear you — even when the oven gets up to 525, it’s a disappointment. I hope the skillet/broiler method worked for you, and that you weren’t burned in the process! Also hieee. When do you go back to Cali?
This soup looks so creamy and divine. I love the accompaniment of flat-bread, perfect for dipping!
This is what I call a great meal. I just bought a small loaf of rosemary olive bread. It is so delicious. So I know this flatbread is outstanding. Wonderful combo with the soup.
THe sage and rosemary are in the garden just waiting to be picked!! Yay!! I’m going to pick some of the sage and basil stems before Friday to put them in a vase for awhile because it’s supposed to freeze this weekend! Urg, I hate it when it starts freezing in the garden…it’s depressing….but I love sage for Thanksgiving stuffing and the basil will root in a jar! This weekend we’ll have soup and herbed flatbread!
Just made this soup while I sit in a rain storm in New England (the one teeny pocket that doesn’t have snow) after my mother had a tooth pulled – perfect for a rainy day and someone who can’t eat solid foods! It’s delicious!!
Ohhhh, sorry for your mama and sorry for no snow, but yay for perfect circumstances to make soup. I am in snowy VT, and my family and I also enjoyed this soup this afternoon– I can’t get enough soup these days. Happy Thanksgiving!!
This is one of my favorite fall recipes. Can I include it in my local food co-op’s newsletter crediting you?
So happy to hear this! It’s one of my favorites as well. Just made my first batch yesterday. Yes, of course re newsletter, thanks so much!
Thank you! I like butternut. Great recipe and everything was explained in detail. Great! I’m going to give it a try. 🙂 Hope I’ll have a chance to do the same as you do. Andrew
This is my absolute favorite go-to fall and winter soup recipe. so simple and so delicious.
So happy to hear this, Isabel!
This flatbread looks so delicious. I have saved and will try to make my own flatbread. Thank you so much ! This is awesome!
Cara Alessandra, I happened to see this recipe and since I have a butternut squash found at an outdoor market here in Chianti, wished to make this delicious sounding soup for this cool, Fall evening. What we do not have here is apple cider as it is not produced here in Tuscany, and does not travel well from northern Italy, nor from New England! Can you kindly recommend a substitute for the cider liquid? Grazie mille, and always looking forward to your excellent recipes and wonderful articles.
Thank you sweet Olga! Do you have apples? I’m thinking you could peel an apple, dice it, and add it to the pot with the butternut squash. To account for the liquid, I would use either stock or water, and you might need to add just a splash of vinegar at the end for some acidity. Hope this helps!
I put this in my pressure cooker for 6 min and it’s wonderful! Thank you!
wonderful to hear this!
Can this be made in the crockpot by letting all the veggies cook first and then continuing on like the instructions say for blending in the cider and sour cream? (Also, know if a greek yogurt would work just as well?)
Karlie, I would imagine definitely regarding the crockpot! Now, for the sour cream, I don’t know, but I would definitely hold on adding the yogurt till the very end. I found this online from Milkstreet.com:
“You can make the switch (Greek yogurt for sour cream) if you’re subbing Greek yogurt into a soup that contains no starch and you’re stirring it in at the end. But in this case, be careful not to boil the soup, Moulton warns, otherwise the yogurt (and the sour cream too, for that matter), will curdle.”
Hope that helps!
I absolutely love your recipes, they always seem to turn out so well. I made your overnight cinnamon buns this week and they got so many compliments!
I was wondering for the herbed flatbreads in this recipe if you could simply half the quantities for the dough if you wanted to make enough for 3 flatbreads? And would the timings remain the same? We are a bit tight for flour at the moment with the shops being sold out!
Thanks in advance!
Sorry, I also meant to ask you if you can use instant yeast instead of active dry for the flatbreads? And if so, how much would you suggest for 3 or 6 flatbreads? Thanks!
So happy to hear all of this, Alex! Yes, you can definitely halve the recipe. I would use 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast.
So happy to hear the cinnamon buns were a success, too 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
Hello Ali, I’ve just made the flatbread dough – I’m excited to see how it turns out! I wanted to ask if I can leave the dough to prove for longer than 18 hours of if it has to be that exact time?
Longer is fine! Sorry just seeing this!
Can you please suggest the best alternative to the Baking Steel? I do not yet have one, but want to make your delicious flatbread! Thank you in advance for everything.
Hi Maureen! You could preheat a sheet pan (it may warp or buckle keep in mind, so don’t do that if you are worried) or you could preheat a cast iron skillet. You’ll need to cook one at a time with the skillet, but it will work. A pizza stone, obviously, would be the best alternative to a Baking Steel, but I’m assuming you don’t have a stone?
I made this soup for dinner and it was delicious:-) It was so easy to make. Had it with homemade naan, but will have to try your herbed flatbread next time.
So nice to hear this, Karin! Thanks so much for writing 💕💕💕
Hello Alexandra! I’m was wondering if you have made any flatbread with sourdough? This flatbread looks scrumptious & I have so much sourdough. Tks
Hi! I haven’t really, but honestly, I would be included to encourage you to make the Sourdough Pizza recipe … just bake it without toppings or just lightly brushed with olive oil and sea salt. So good! I do this all the time.
If I wanted to make the soup a few days in advance of serving it, where would you suggest stopping and then re-starting? Or would you just make and re-heat?
Thank you so much for your delicious and do-able recipes!
Hi Maureen! So sorry for the delay here. I would make the whole thing; then reheat as needed. I have done this many times with this recipe.
Thanks so much for the kind words… means a lot 🙂 🙂 🙂