There are so many reasons to love this Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Red Pepper! From the simple preparation to the over-the-top delicious flavor, it’s a new go-to for holiday dinners. See the tips below for prepping this soup ahead of time so that it’s ready to go on busy days.
The Coziest Butternut Soup
I adore winter squashes. Roasted, sautéed, added to chili, or in casseroles, they are so versatile.
As soon as September hits, you can be sure I have a collection of winter squashes in my fridge waiting to be used.
Since Butternut squash has a pretty sweet flavor, I decided to complement it with the savory flavor of roasted red peppers.
What resulted was the coziest bowl of butternut squash soup ever! It’s creamy, and slightly sweet, with a mild charred pepper flavor that takes it over the top.
Once you have your ingredients organized, it’s a very simple recipe! If you’re starting any holiday meals with soup this year, I highly suggest this one!
I’ve kept it dairy-free using soaked cashews — read the notes if you need a nut-free soup or prefer the ease of using heavy cream!
For holidays, I suggest making this the day before. The flavor just gets better after it sits. Reheat it and top it with crispy fried bacon for an extra pop of smokey flavor!
Roasting the vegetables in the oven gives them the sweetest, deepest flavor, with a slight smokey char.
Once the vegetables are roasted, they are simmered on the Induction Cooktop along with the onions and garlic. I love how sleek these two appliances are, and use them to perfect so many of my recipes.
In the winter, I love having dinner parties where I serve a variety of soups. The warming setting on the Induction Cooktop means I can keep the soups hot, and people can serve themselves when they are ready.
What You’ll Need
- Butternut Squash (sugar pumpkin or kabocha squash also works!)
- Red Bell Peppers
- Cashews (this adds a creamy base – see notes for substitutions)
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Yellow Onions
- Fresh Garlic Cloves
- Vegetable Broth (or sub chicken broth or chicken stock, or use chicken bone broth for added nutrition)
- Cayenne Pepper (or add more heat with your favorite hot sauce)
Top this velvety soup with toppings to add some texture contrasts!
- Crispy Fried Sage
- Crispy Bacon
- Hot Sauce (I love Cholula on this soup!)
- Green Onions
- Italian Parsley or Cilantro
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Sour Cream, Crème Fraîche, or Heavy Whipping Cream
- Instead of cashews, add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream into the soup at the end when seasoning it with cayenne pepper and salt.
- For an even quicker cashew cream, use 1/4 cup of cashew butter instead of soaking cashews overnight. The cashew butter can be added to the blender along with the vegetables and broth.
- A creamy coconut milk (not the beverage, but the full-fat canned coconut milk) will also work but will leave a bit of a coconut flavor. It will work in a pinch but would be my last choice out of these options! Use 1/2 cup of coconut milk in place of the cashews.
Note: Soaked cashews work best in a high-powered blender. If you need are using an immersion or stick blender, opt for the cashew butter or heavy cream option.
How to Make Butternut Squash Red Pepper Soup
Prior to starting: Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 1: Soak cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, soak them overnight in cold water. (skip this step if subbing heavy cream)
Step 2: Add cubed butternut squash and chopped red pepper to the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables to evenly coat. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes, until softened and lightly charred.
Step 3: Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add the roasted butternut squash and red peppers to the soup pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
Step 5: Add half of the soup mixture and the cashews to a blender, and process until a very smooth, creamy texture is reached. Repeat with the remaining soup mixture, and return the pureed soup to the pot.
*If using an immersion blender, do not use cashews (sub heavy cream or cashew butter, see notes). They will not blend into a cream.
Step 6: Season the soup with cayenne pepper, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Step 7: Garnish the soup simply with red pepper flakes, or dress it up with bacon, green onions, crispy sage, or hot sauce, as desired.
How to Store Leftover Butternut Squash Soup
Once the soup has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat the soup, add it to a saucepan with a couple tablespoons of water, and heat over medium heat until it’s simmering.
Reserve any toppings and add them when ready to serve.
Can I Freeze This Soup?
Yes! Because of the pureed texture, this soup is perfect for freezing. I love freezing this soup in individual portions. Pull it out in the morning to defrost and it’s ready to reheat for lunch!
Should I Peel The Butternut Squash Before Roasting It?
While it’s not necessary, I do peel the squash before roasting it. The squash skin is a bit tough, so I prefer to remove it.
However, if you’re blending this soup in a high-speed blender, it will process into the mixture and be mostly undetectable.
Can I Use Jarred Red Peppers?
Yes, if you have a jar of roasted red peppers, you can use them instead of whole red bell peppers. Add the roasted red peppers to the soup when pureeing.
Alternatively, make a batch of Roasted Red Peppers to keep on hand for recipes like this and to add to sandwiches and salads!
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Red Pepper
The perfect blend of sweet roasted squash and smokey roasted red peppers. This slightly spicy, slightly sweet soup is the perfect cozy bowl this winter. Keep it simple as a dinner starter, or load it with bacon and herbs for a more substantial meal.
- 1/2 cup cashews raw, (or sub 1/4 cup heavy cream, added after pureeing soup)
- 1 butternut squash peeled, de-seeded, and cubed (about 3 pounds)
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to season to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- bacon chopped, optional
- green onions chopped, optional
- cilantro chopped, optional
- fried sage optional
- hot sauce or red pepper flakes, optional
Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Soak cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, soak them overnight in cold water. (skip this step if subbing heavy cream)
Add cubed butternut squash and chopped red pepper to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables to evenly coat. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes, until softened and lightly charred.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted butternut squash and red peppers to the soup pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.\
Add half of the soup mixture and the cashews to a blender, and process until very smooth and creamy. If using an immersion blender, do not use cashews. They will not blend into a cream. See notes for substitions. Repeat with the remaining soup mixture, and return the pureed soup to the pot.
Season the soup with cayenne pepper, and additional salt and pepper, to taste.
Garnish the soup simply with red pepper flakes, or dress it up with bacon, green onions, crispy sage, or hot sauce, as desired.