We love to eat winter squash in all sorts of ways, but one of our new favorites is in this Butternut Squash and Honeycrisp Apple Soup. It's velvety in texture, naturally sweet, and so comforting. But my favorite part of this family-friendly soup might just be how easy it is to make.
We're part of a winter CSA, so between that and the produce that is still on offer from our farmer-neighbor, we've had plenty of butternut squash to enjoy this fall. I know that there are plenty of other squash soup recipes out there, but I'm going to attempt to convince you to try this one with your toddler for a few reasons. Here goes:
There are no unusual flavors. Which means that it tastes like squash and apples, with a subtle undertone of celery. I deliberately chose not to add herbs or spices (other than salt and pepper) because my daughter has never had squash soup—and maybe your toddler hasn't either—so I wanted to keep it straight forward.
It's super easy to make. This recipe only requires one pot and everything cooks together. You can make it vegan if you'd like or make it extra rich with a little butter or cream. But after you chop the ingredients, the stovetop does the rest.
It freezes well. We're having this for lunch on Thanksgiving since our dinner will be at normal time to allow for L's afternoon nap. I already have the batch in the freezer, so after thawing in the fridge overnight, I'll just need to warm it up.
The first time I tried out this soup, we ate the batch in one sitting and were all disappointed that we didn't have leftovers. (Well, I should say that L just took a few tastes of the soup, which I was expecting since it was new to her. My husband and I ate the rest.) I tested it again and upped the amounts a bit to allow for leftovers—and to help feed a crowd if you decide to have this for Thanksgiving too.
Butternut Squash and Honeycrisp Apple Soup
If you can't find a honeycrisp apple, try a Jonathan, MacIntosh, or Granny Smith. To make this a little more comforting, you can top with a dollop of plain yogurt. If your toddler isn't yet adept as using a spoon, you can serve this in a pouch or serve it alongside bread or a muffin that they can simply dunk into the soup. Or, give them permission to drink it right out of a little cup or mug!
- 1 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 medium apple, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can white cannelini beans, rinsed and drained, optional*
- Warm the butter or olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, celery, apple, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until just starting to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the beans if using and puree until very smooth with either an immersion blender or a regular blender. Serve warm.
- To store: Let cool completely and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in a zip top freezer bag, flattened, in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*The beans make this soup a little more filling with their protein and fiber. Do add the beans if you plan to have this for a main meal. If having it as an appetizer, say on Thanksgiving, you could get away with skipping the beans and serving up a slightly lighter soup.