Savory Squash Soup with Cranberry Relish
This Creamy Squash Soup with Cranberry Relish is lusciously creamy and packed with flavor. From the sweet, earthy flavors of the roasted squash, to the subtle warm spices and tart cranberry relish topper, it’s a favorite fall and winter soup recipe!
Easy Acorn and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
I adore a creamy, flavorful squash soup during fall and winter. It’s just so cozy. And this Creamy Squash Soup with Cranberry Relish has been a longtime favorite!
This fall soup recipe is lusciously creamy and packed with flavor. From the sweet, earthy flavor of the roasted squash, to the subtle warm spices, to the tart cranberry relish topper, it’s a recipe we all look forward to.
We serve this beautiful creamy roasted squash soup as either a main dish or a smaller first course, all fall and winter long. One of my favorite meals is a bowl of this soup, plus a steaming popover with a schmear of cinnamon honey butter.
But I especially like to serve this soup during the holidays – so lovely for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. That cranberry relish is not only fabulously delicious, it’s also the prettiest presentation. Serve it with my hearty holiday wild rice salad or shaved Brussels sprouts salad. Or as a first course to grilled turkey tenderloin or mustard pork loin roast, or these gorgeous stuffed pork chops!
“The best squash soup ever made. I keep this one with my favorites from NYC to now Madrid. Still making it every year!”– Cristina
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this savory roasted squash soup and cranberry relish. Be sure to check the recipe box below for the exact measurements.
For the Roasted Squash & Soup
- Squash – This roasted squash soup is made with a combination of butternut and acorn squash. They each lend their own unique flavor.
- Spices – Salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon give this soup extra cozy flavor that reminds me of fall.
- White onion – Adds savory flavor to the soup.
- Brown sugar – Just a hint of sweetness that goes so well with the squash.
- Lemon – A squeeze of lemon juice gives a little boost of brightness.
- Chicken stock – The base of the soup, as it helps thin out the squash puree.
- Heavy cream – Adds a rich touch to both the flavor and texture of this soup.
- Rosemary – This gives a fresh, earthy flavor.
For the Cranberry Relish
- Cranberries – Use fresh cranberries to make the relish.
- Sugar – Sugar balances out the tartness of the cranberries in the relish.
- Lemon juice – Gives bright, fresh flavor.
Other Topping Ideas
I highly recommend giving the cranberry relish a try, even if you’re not typically a big fan of cranberries. But if you’re looking for other topping options for this acorn and butternut squash soup, here are a few ideas:
- Dried fruit like cranberries or raisins
- Roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Dried or fresh herbs of your choice – rosemary and thyme are especially nice
- Grated parmesan or asiago cheese
How to Roast Squash
This creamy squash soup is made with roasted squash, so the first step is preparing and roasting both types of squash – which is super easy to do!
- Cut and clean each squash. Cut both squashes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Season. Place the squash on a rimmed baking pan (lined with foil for easy clean-up!) and brush the cut sides of the squash with melted butter, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Bake. Turn squash over, cut side down, and bake until tender. It usually takes about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the exact size of the squash. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool.
How to Make Roasted Squash Soup with Cranberry Relish
From start to finish, this is a heavenly fall and winter soup. I love the process of roasting and pureeing the squash!
- Prepare the squash. Roast the squash according to the directions above. Once cool, scoop out the insides and puree in a food processor (or use a blender) until very smooth.
- Make the soup base. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the onion and saute. Add the pureed squash. Cook over low heat until heated through. Do not allow it to bubble. Season with spices and lemon juice. Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the cream. Heat the cream in a separate saucepan with the rosemary, to infuse the fresh rosemary flavor. Remove the rosemary and discard, then stir the cream into the soup.
- Blend. Use an immersion blender to carefully combine everything in the pot until it’s silky smooth. Or use a stand blender, in batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make the cranberry relish. While the soup is cooking, combine all of the cranberry relish ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until the mixture is thickened and the berries are glazed. Remove from heat. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate if not using right away.
- Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls then top with the cranberry relish.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making the best roasted squash soup.
- Use a SHARP knife. The skin of squash is quite thick and it can take a bit of muscle to cut through it. The best, easiest, and safest way is to use a very sharp knife and a bit of strength.
- Do not let the squash bubble. Before adding the chicken stock, be sure the heat isn’t too high. You don’t want the squash to burn, only to warm. So do not allow it to bubble, simmer, or boil.
- Take care when blending. The soup mixture will be extra hot so use caution when blending with an immersion blender or when transferring it to a blender.
- Prepare the squash in advance. One thing I love about this roasted squash soup is that the most time-consuming part – roasting the squash – can easily be done in advance. You could easy roast the squash a day or two in advance and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the soup. Or roast the squash even further in advance and freeze it!
What to Serve with Creamy Squash Soup
This creamy squash soup can easily be served as a healthy, filling meal all on its own or with a side of warm crusty bread or popovers.
However, you can also serve this squash soup as a side dish or first course, with dishes like stuffed pork chops or wild rice stuffed mushrooms. You can also never go wrong with a soup and salad combo.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Leftover squash soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Once it has cooled, just transfer it to an airtight container.
The best way to reheat this soup is on the stovetop over low heat, though the microwave will do in a pinch.
Store the cranberry relish separately, in its own airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for at least a week.
Can I Freeze Butternut Squash Soup?
Yes, you can freeze this roasted squash soup. Once it cools completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat on the stovetop over low heat. Since it has cream in it, you’ll want to reheat slowly and stir it periodically.
More Squash Recipes:
- Fried Yellow Squash
- Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Tart with Caramelized Onion
- Turkey Dinner Stuffed Acorn Squash
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To roast the squash:
- 3¾ pounds butternut squash
- 1¾ pounds acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper (I used black pepper)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
To finish the soup:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ c. finely diced white onion
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
For the Cranberry Relish:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- For the soup: Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut each squash in half and discard seeds. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush the cut sides of the squash with it. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange squash cut side down on baking pan (line pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, if desired). Bake until tender, about 1½ hours, depending on the size of the squash
- Cool the squash, then scoop out the insides. Puree the flesh in a food processor and reserve. (Yield: 4 to 5 cups of pureed squash)
- In a medium stockpot over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the onion and let it saute, stirring occasionally; do not let it brown. Add the pureed squash and cook over very low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not allow it to bubble up. Season with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the rosemary sprig. Remove the rosemary and pour the cream into the soup. Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and process in batches, or use an immersion blender right in the pot, for 2 or 3 minutes or until very smooth. Be careful - it's HOT! Add salt and pepper to taste.
- For the cranberry relish: While soup is cooking (after adding the chicken stock in Step 4), make the cranberry relish. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Continue to cook until the mixture is thick and the berries are glazed. Allow to cool. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.
- To serve: Ladle hot soup into bowls. Place a heaping tablespoon of cranberry relish in the center. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary if desired.
Savory Squash Soup: adapted slightly from Wolfgang Puck. When Hatti was very young, we'd enjoy this soup together at Wolfgang Puck Express at the Mall of America. Only they served it with a red pepper coulis. We love the tart, pretty cranberry relish with this soup when we make it at home!
Cranberry Relish: a farmgirl’s dabbles
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 398mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 13gSugar: 25gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was first published in 2010, then updated in 2022.