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Cozy Butternut Soup with Sage Croutons

Cozy Butternut Soup with Sage Croutons

Hurray! The weather has finally turned cool and drizzly, and I cant wait to make this simple, nutrient-rich autumn soup, cozy as a cuddle in a soft armchair. No worries about putting on extra autumn pounds if we indulge, either, because this creamy recipe may taste sinfully rich, but it’s dairy-free and contains only healthy fats. I sometimes add a chopped apple to the soup for extra sweetness, and my family likes it served with crispy sage croutons or roasted pumpkin seeds (recipes included) to give a tempting crunch. This is the soup to celebrate the autumn season, as brilliantly orange in color as the turning leaves and filled with the comforting beta-carotene antioxidants our bodies crave this time of year.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (should be about 3 cups)
1 apple, cored and coarsely chopped (optional)
6 cups good-quality vegetable broth, more if needed
1 cup canned coconut milk, shaken well
Curry spices to taste, optional (curry flavors go beautifully with the coconut milk, but if Im planning to use sage croutons, I forego the curry)

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened and fragrant but not browned, for a minute or two.

2. Add squash cubes and stir to coat with oil. Add the apple and/or curry spices, if using. Add broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until squash is completely softened.

3. Puree in batches using a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, or simply squash the squash with the back of a wooden spoon if you prefer a chunkier soup. If soup is too thick, add more broth.

4. Serve topped with sage croutons, below, (or roasted pumpkin seeds, a dollop of yogurt, or garnished with a couple of fresh sage leaves.

Serves 4 to 6.

Sage Croutons

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices good-quality country-style or peasant bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced, or 1 tablespoon dried

In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and cook, turning often, until browned and crisp on all sides. Sprinkle with sage and cook another minute or two, until sage is fragrant.

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By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.

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+ add your own
7:54PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

I love this recipe! I never considered curry with a butternut squash soup! Usually, I like simply salted butternut squash soup, but this definitely sounds like a super alternative. This winter season, I seem to be eating so much soup. Glad to add this one. Thank you.

12:53PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

This sounds great with the apple! Can't wait to try it!

6:13AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Thanks , sounds delicious !

5:49AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:35AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Yum! :)

12:18AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

This sound yummy - I shall try it out and use a substitute for coconut milk as I don't have any. Thanks!

1:27AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011


5:36AM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I have some leftover roasted acorn squash that will work perfectly with this. I prefer to use chicken broth and whole milk, but I know that not everyone would agree with me.

I like the idea of sage croutons. I might pop them into my toaster oven with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Yum.

10:50PM PST on Dec 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with a Drizzle of Truffle Oil tastes fantastic - serve it at a party as a soup sip...

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12:08PM PDT on Oct 18, 2007

While the soup was OK, I didn't particularly care for the taste of the coconut milk. If I make it again I'll use chicken stock, soy milk or whole milk.

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