Sweet, savory, and oh-so smooth, Acorn Squash Soup is a welcome addition to your roster of creamy cold weather soups. Roast your acorn squash first for a deeper flavor profile. The buttery flesh melds beautifully with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, while crisp autumn apple and fresh herbs balance out the mellow notes. Add texture with crunchy roasted pepitas.
If you’re passing acorn squash over for its more popular fall friends, DON’T! While cooked acorn squash may not have the dense, creamy texture of butternut squash, or the strong fibrous structure of spaghetti squash, it absolutely blossoms when prepared and seasoned properly.
For years I looked at them skeptically – like a decorative gourd – but once I learned how to cook acorn squash, it was game on. Especially once I was armed with the knowledge that the skin can be eaten when you do it right.
Roasted acorn squash has shown up many a year as our “sweet side” at holiday gatherings and has actually converted a few folks who were previously squeamish about squash. And if that recipe doesn’t get you going, sausage stuffed acorn squash with spinach, cranberries, and parmesan is game changing. (Dead serious – it is the perfect dish to serve for informal but intimate dinner gatherings during the fall and winter months.)
But even with those winning acorn squash recipes, soup ranks pretty darn high on the list of my favorite ways to enjoy this little nutty buddy.
A Creamy, Cozy, Squash Soup for Fall
Much like its cousins, one sure-fire way to enjoy acorn squash is to turn it into a naturally creamy pureed soup. I love it for two key reasons.
The first is consistency – of the recipe and the squash. Like most of my pureed soups (like ginger carrot or curried cauliflower) you can pretty much guarantee good results if you follow a few simple steps – (1) roast the vegetable, (2) saute the alliums, (3) marry the flavors with broth and herbs, then simmer, and (4) blend until smooth.
And when I say smooth, I mean smoooooooth. Like, the actual consistency of the soup is akin to Sam Cooke in a velvet suit sipping single malt scotch. I’ll slurp on that any day.
But, the texture wouldn’t mean anything without the taste. And winter squash is insanely tasty. All on its own it’s nutty and sweet and buttery with like, ZERO effort. But it also pairs well with a wide variety of sweet, savory and spiced flavors.
How to Cook Acorn Squash for Soup
You’ll get the best FLAVOR by oven roasting acorn squash in soup, but you’ll get a slightly better TEXTURE if the acorn squash is steamed (we do it in the instant pot).
While I prefer roasting the squash for the extra hit of flavor, you can certainly use instant pot acorn squash if you’d like to save a little time and effort.
Does Acorn Squash Need to Be Peeled for Soup?
Acorn squash prep for soup is super easy. It doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) peeled before roasting, but you will want to scoop out the flesh and discard the skin after. While the skin is actually edible, it won’t puree down into a creamy soup.
How to Make Acorn Squash Soup
Oven roasted acorn squash lends toasty notes of caramel to this fall favorite soup. Saute vegetables with a crisp, sweet apple to create the base for Acorn Squash Soup. Fresh thyme and sage work alongside cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to enhance the rich buttery flavor.
- Roast two acorn squash in a 425°F oven until the flesh is soft and caramelized around the edges. Rest at room temperature until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh.
- Saute shallot, carrot, and celery in a combination of olive oil and butter until soft, then add a bit of fresh garlic.
- Add a diced apple to the pot, then season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Add the roasted squash to the pot along with some broth (vegetable or chicken). Bundle a sprig each of thyme and sage and add those to the pot.
- Simmer 20 minutes to meld the flavors and further soften the vegetables.
- Add heavy cream, then puree right in the pot using an immersion blender.
- Serve right away, garnished with pepitas and fresh thyme.
- Roasted acorn squash is done when the skin can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
- Be careful not to burn the shallot – it’s more tender than a regular onion and can easily brown and turn bitter.
- Wait until the end to season with additional salt, especially if you aren’t using low sodium broth.
- We like honeycrisp apples to add a touch of sweetness to the soup, but any crisp, sweet apple works.
- While this is not a vegan acorn squash soup recipe, you can swap the dairy 1:1 with your favorite vegan substitutes. The heavy cream can be skipped entirely, but you may want to add a splash of extra broth.
Storing and Freezing
Leftover acorn squash soup can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What to Serve With Acorn Squash Soup
It should go without saying that for any meal, any time, roasted acorn squash soup always pairs with your favorite crusty bread – and therefore, by default, your favorite sandwich on crusty bread.
Roast acorn squash soup will be a stellar opener for any holiday meal, but if you’re looking for simple supper ideas, you can’t go wrong serving it with roast chicken (try a whole roaster or Creamy Rosemary Garlic Chicken) and brussels sprouts (try ’em super crispy and shredded, or with a maple bourbon glaze and bacon).
Did you make this acorn squash soup? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Creamy Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with ApplePrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 lb acorn squash, about 2 medium
- 5 tsp olive oil, divided (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, diced to ½”
- 2 stalks celery, diced to ½”
- 1 honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and diced to ½” (or other sweet, crisp apple variety)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp dried ginger
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh sage, plus more for garnish
- ½ c heavy cream
- ¼ c roasted and salted pepitas
- Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the squash in half, then remove the seeds. Drizzle each half with ½ teaspoon olive oil and work into both the flesh and the skin. Season all over with the salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- Transfer to the oven and roast until the flesh is tender and the skin can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- While the squash cools, prepare the soup base. In a 6-quart dutch oven or soup pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts, then foams.
- Add the shallot, carrot, and celery and toss to coat in the fat. Sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the shallot turns translucent and the celery and carrots soften; be careful not to burn the shallot, as you don’t want it to turn brown and become bitter.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until very fragrant, about 60 seconds.
- Add the diced apple and season with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; give everything a good stir, then pour in the broth.
- Scoop the flesh from the squash and add to the pot. Bundle the thyme and sage with kitchen twine and add to the pot.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to low heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the apple and vegetables are very soft.
- Remove the herb stems, then add the heavy cream. Puree the soup using an immersion blender until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt, pepper, and/or spices until the flavor sings.
- Serve right away, garnished with pepitas and fresh thyme or sage.