There's nothing that says "fall" like vegan butternut squash bisque. This is one of my go-to dishes as the weather cools down (yes, even in Florida we get some crisp days). I've been loving this simple soup recipe this fall, and hope you do too!
One bowl of comfort food for one, please. Let's dive in.
For this butternut squash bisque recipe, we'll need a few key pieces of equipment:
- Cutting board, chef's knife and vegetable peeler for preparing butternut squash and other vegetables
- Sheet tray and oven mitt for roasting butternut squash
- Medium saucepan or large pot (12 in diameter) for combining soup. I recommend something with taller edges, but enough surface area on the bottom for the onions to cook.
- Immersion blender, food processor, or blender for pureeing soup. The immersion blender is my first choice given you don't have to transfer hot liquids, and they're relatively inexpensive.
- Can opener for opening can of coconut milk
The star of this show is clearly the butternut squash - but more on that later.
It also features sweet apple, savory rosemary, and our favorite dynamic duo: onion and garlic Coconut milk makes our bisque extra creamy, and adds sweet and slightly cinnamon-y notes.
Finally we have our kitchen staples: olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preparing butternut squash
Before we dive into making a great bisque, we have to talk about butternut squash. If you've never used it before, it's a silkier, more savory version of a sweet potato. Butternut squash LOVES to be roasted, so that's what we're going to do.
To prepare, cut off both ends using your chef's knife, and then chop off the fat part from the skinny part. Then peel using a vegetable peeler.
Place the fat side on one of the edges you just sliced, and cut down the middle. Remove all the seeds using a spoon, then dice both sides into 1 in cubes. It's ok if there's a little bit of stringiness - that's the good stuff! Toss with a some cooking oil (I like grapeseed for its high smoking point), salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 for 20 mins. Then remove from the oven, flip with a spatula so the other sides can get nice and yummy, and then baking for another 20-30 mins, or until they start to lightly brown.
So, your squash is done. It smells amazing, and you can't keep your hands off the baking sheet. Perfect. We're going for a sweet and slightly salty flavor, with a buttery smooth texture. We are building the perfect soup for bread dipping (PS - grab a fresh baguette at the store, you won't regret it).
Apples and butternut squash are a match made in heaven. The apple gently sweetens the silky smooth butternut squash, while adding just a little sourness. I prefer red apples to compliment the saltiness from the squash, like Gala or Honeycrisp.
Onions and garlic are a given here. You'll want to make sure to cook down the onion almost to the point of caramelization - it should be translucent when you add the apples, and lightly browning by the time you add the garlic and roasted butternut squash.
We're going to add some chopped rosemary to complement the apples and squash (use 1T if using dried rosemary or 2T if fresh). Then coconut milk is going to complete our silky smooth soup. Heat until it bubbles, the reduce heat to a simmer for 2-3 mins, stirring occasionally.
Finally, remove from heat and blend it all together. Finally, blend it all together. *Please use caution when blending hot liquids*
An immersion blender is easiest. Remove pot from the heat, insert immersion blender, and blend until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend on low in batches if needed. Don't overload the blender - only fill to halfway maximum. There will be a lot of steam, so be careful when opening.
I don't have an immersion blender, what can I use instead? You can use a regular blender filled to half capacity, or a food processor if you're desperate (I've been there and won't judge you). See above for more tips!
How do I prepare butternut squash for roasting? First, remove both ends with your chef's knife. Then, separate the bottom fatter part, from the skinnier top part. Remove skin using a vegetable peeler. Place bottom part on a flat edge and slide down the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then dice both parts into 1 inch cubes. Toss with cooking oil (such as grapeseed), salt and pepper, and roast for 40-50 mins or until starting to brown slightly, flipping halfway through. A couple tips:
- Make sure your knife is sharp, as raw butternut squash can be difficult to cut through.
- The strongest part of your knife is closest to the handle, where the knife is widest - it's called the heel. You'll want to rely on the heel to cut through thick vegetables.
What do I serve with butternut squash bisque? This butternut squash soup is amazing solo, but I highly recommend adding your carb of choice. My weakness? A french baguette, ideally fresh out of the oven. Otherwise, wrap in foil and warm in the oven for 10-15 mins at 250 F. If you're really feeling naughty, pull out your favorite vegan butter and go to town!
What else can I do with butternut squash? You could roast it as described above and enjoy as a decadent side dish, add to a salad or stew, or make these savory butternut squash quesadillas. The sky is the limit!
Is butternut squash bisque fancy enough for company? Absolutely. This would be an excellent soup course to go with some warm bread. Don't tell the crowd it's vegan, they'll never know!
What is the proper ratio of baguette: bowl of butternut squash soup? In my humble opinion, the correct ratio of demi baguette: bowl of butternut squash soup is 1:1. No shame, E and I finished an entire baguette in 15 minutes the last time I made this (and put a pretty good hurtin' on the leftovers in the process).
What's a dairy free alternative to heavy cream? Canned coconut milk is the best substitute I've found for heavy cream. If you're not a fan of coconut flavor, don't worry, it isn't too prominent next to the other rich ingredients in this soup.Print
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 apples, diced
- 2 T rosemary, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can coconut milk (15 oz)
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1-2 T olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Meanwhile, peel and dice the butternut squash, removing the seeds. Toss with 1-2 T olive oil, chopped rosemary, a generous pinch of salt and smaller pinch of pepper. Spread cubes on baking sheet and roast for 40 mins, flipping halfway through.
- Meanwhile, dice onions and apple. Mince garlic.
- When the squash is ready, sauté onions, apple, and a pinch of salt in 1 T olive oil on medium heat until onions are a little past translucent (5-7 mins). Add garlic, rosemary, and another little pinch of salt. When you can smell the garlic (30-60 secs), add 6 cups of vegetable broth and roasted butternut squash.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
- Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, just be careful transferring hot liquids), blend until smooth. Once smooth, stir in coconut milk. Taste, and add more salt/pepper if needed.
- Serve with your favorite bread, and drizzle of coconut milk on top (optional)
Keywords: butternut squash bisque, butternut squash soup, fall butternut squash recipes, butternut squash recipes, butternut squash