Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

published Nov 14, 2021
Acorn Squash Soup Recipe

Apples and leeks highlight the savory-sweet squash flavor of this soup.

Serves6

Makesabout 10 cups

Prep30 minutes

Cook1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes

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A pureed acorn squash soup in a white ceramic bowl with red spices sprinkled on top
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Puréed vegetable soups tend to be a little ho-hum. Often too thick, too thin, or too milky, the flavor of the star ingredient is often lost behind too much cream or ingredients boiled to death. This acorn squash soup is none of those things. Sweet and savory roasted squash is highlighted with apples and leeks, a bit of fresh ginger, and a couple of spoonfuls of pure maple syrup. Drizzled with nutty brown butter and a little nutmeg, it’s a vegetable-forward bowl of cozy comfort that hits all sorts of different flavor notes. It’s time for that squash that’s been decorating your countertop all month to graduate to dinner.

Do You Have to Peel Acorn Squash for Soup?

Winter squashes can seem daunting when you’re staring one down with a knife in one hand and a vegetable peeler in the other. But you can put down the peeler and let out a sigh of relief: There’s no need to peel or cut acorn squash into pieces when making soup. 

Instead, simply cut the squash in half and roast it. This cuts down on your prep work considerably, letting the oven do the work for you. Once the squash is tender, spoon the flesh into your soup pot, leaving the skins behind. Roasting the squash also concentrates the flavors and gives you sticky caramelized bits that deepen the flavor of this simple soup. 

How to Cut an Acorn Squash

The ridged shape of an acorn squash can look tricky to navigate. But they actually help stabilize the squash on your cutting board, unlike other round varieties. I like to cut it through the equator, avoiding the tough stem. Set the squash on your cutting board, holding it steady as you insert the tip of a large, sharp knife through the middle. Push the knife down as you carefully rotate the squash. Remove and repeat if the knife gets stuck until you’ve cut all the way around. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and proceed.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

What to Serve with Acorn Squash Soup

This soup is versatile and can be served on its own, or as a side or appetizer. Depending on if you’re looking for a light lunch or to round out a dinner, you can go a lot of different directions. Try it with the following:

Acorn Squash Soup Recipe

Apples and leeks highlight the savory-sweet squash flavor of this soup.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes

Makes about 10 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds

    acorn squash (1 large or 2 small)

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

  • 2

    large shallots

  • 1

    large carrot

  • 1

    large or 2 small leeks

  • 1

    large apple, preferably Honeycrisp

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 (1-inch) piece

    ginger

  • 1 small bunch

    fresh thyme, divided

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons

    maple syrup, plus more as needed

  • 1/2

    small lemon

  • 1/2 cup

    half-and-half

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • Garnish options: Aleppo pepper flakes, coarsely ground black pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Arrange rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut 3 pounds acorn squash in half through the equator. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Rub the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper. Place on the baking sheet cut-side down. Roast until tender easily pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, start the soup.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 2 large shallots (about 1 cup). Peel and dice 1 large carrot (about 1 cup). Core and dice 1 large apple (about 2 cups). Trim the dark green parts from 1 large or 2 small leeks, halve the leek(s) lengthwise and rinse if gritty, and cut crosswise into thin half-moons (about 2 cups). Finely chop 2 garlic cloves garlic. Peel and finely chop a 1-inch piece ginger (about 1 tablespoon). Pick the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh thyme until you have 1 tablespoon.

  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot mixture and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Stir and cook until softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer, reducing the heat as needed, until the carrot and apple are very tender, 14 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

  5. When the squash is ready, remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the squash. Carefully scoop the flesh out with a spoon and add to the pot; discard the skins. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and the juice from 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon).

  6. Blend the soup directly in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth, or blend in batches in a stand blender. Return to the pot if needed, add 1/2 cup half-and-half, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt, black pepper, or maple syrup as needed.

  7. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small skillet (preferably with a light-colored interior) over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula, until the butter is light brown and smells nutty, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and season with a tiny pinch kosher salt.

  8. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with the browned butter. Garnish with more thyme leaves, Aleppo pepper or coarsely ground black pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat over medium heat, thinning as needed with more broth if too thick.