Today, we feature the squash in our Butternut Squash Mushroom Soup with Sage recipe. This recipe was first published way back in 2014, so was long overdue for an update! Getting ready to suggest this as part of some Thanksgiving menu suggestions prompted me to make it again, and it also gave us a chance to have fun with some wine pairings for the soup.
When to serve butternut squash soup?
We originally made this soup to serve as our main course. There’s enough substance to this soup to feature it as the star of a meatless supper — this is a vegan soup recipe. Serve it along with some crusty bread to make it a meal that will satisfy.
This butternut squash soup with mushrooms definitely has the elegance to make it a great first course. In fact, we suggested it as a starter in one of our Thanksgiving menu plans.
You start by making a creamy butternut squash soup, then top it with sautéed mushrooms. The soup presents very nicely!
Tips for making this soup
Here are a few tips for making this recipe; head on down to the recipe card for all the details!
- You need a good vegetable peeler and some effort to get the butternut squash peeled!
- Use an ice cream scooper to remove the seeds from the squash.
- Alternatively, you can get peeled and pre-cut squash at the grocery store. It is a convenience, definitely a bit more expensive. The pre-cut squash also needs to get used quickly; I wouldn’t buy it more than one day ahead of when you anticipate using it.
- Sauté the mushrooms as the butternut squash simmers with the other vegetables to save time.
- The sage garnish at the end looks good, but be careful not to use too much. It has a strong flavor!
Leftovers: If you have leftovers, just stir any remaining mushrooms into the soup and re-heat them together the next day.
We originally paired this soup with a Pinot Noir, which worked well with the earthy mushrooms and creamy squash soup. You can’t go wrong with that combo, but there are other options…such as the Mexican wines we recently paired with the dish!
A recent outdoor tasting with Tozi Imports opened my eyes to the high quality wines being produced in Mexico. I will cover more about the event and Mexican wines elsewhere; for now, let’s cover the wine pairings for our Butternut Squash Mushroom Soup.
We started by tasting the 2018 Monte Xanic Chenin-Columbard ($20, 13.9% ABV), from the Valle de Guadulupe. The blend is 98% Chenin Blanc and 2% Columbard, which is a common combination in this Baja region known as “Mexico’s Napa Valley”.
This white wine features subtle peach fruit and minerality. I would describe it as medium bodied, but it it lighter than the soup. This helps the soup shine, with the wine providing some pleasant complimentary flavors in the background.
Pairing tip: If you are pairing the soup with the Chenin-Columbard or other whites, go easy on the sage or it can overwhelm the subtle flavor of the wine.
If you aren’t able to track down the Chenin-Columbard that we tried, I would say this wine drinks similarly to a dry Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. So that would be another white wine pairing option.
Red wine pairing
Max Murphy, Founder of Tozi Imports along with his wife Kenya, suggested that one of his Nebbiolos might pair well with the soup. I’m always keen on pairing experiments, and Max brings a background as a sommelier to the wine importing business, so I had to try the pairing.
So after enjoying some of the Chenin blend with the soup, we poured some of the 2016 Musica Del Marqués Nebbiolo (12.5% ABV). The Vinos Del Marqués winery is located some 2,000 meters above sea level in Querentaro region in central Mexico. The wine is a blend of 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Malbec.
The Musica Del Marques is a very good red wine, but it does drink differently than what you would expect from an Italian Nebbiolo. Definitely a more fruit forward, ready to drink new world style.
Pairing this Mexican Nebbiolo with the butternut squash mushroom soup was a good call! Nebbiolo is good with the earthiness of the mushrooms, and also picks up the strong sage flavor quite well.
For a red wine pairing, you can’t get your hands on the Musica Del Marqués Nebbiolo, I recommend trying to find another New World Nebbiolo, or go with a Pinot Noir.Print
Butternut Squash Mushroom Soup with Sage
Butternut Squash Soup with Sage gets a touch of elegance with the addition of sautéed mushrooms.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
For the butternut squash soup
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 7 cups squash)
- 2 cups diced potatoes (1 large or a few small)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, sliced, plus additional for garnish
- pinch of cinnamon
For the sautéed mushroom topping
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 10 ozs button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional, for additional flavor)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ⅓ cup white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté the onions: Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the carrots, cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of sage, cook for one more minute.
- Add the squash and potatoes. Stir to combine with the onion mixture, then add the vegetable broth and additional cup of water, along with the bay leaf and cinnamon.
- Simmer the soup: Bring the soup pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a steady simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Sauté mushrooms: Get the mushrooms ready while the soup simmers. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, then add the shallot. Sauté a few minutes until it begins to soften, then add the mushrooms.
- Cook mushrooms for 5 minutes, they should start to “sweat”. Add the wine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for another 5 minutes. Keep warm on low heat while you finish the soup.
- Purée soup: When the vegetables in the soup pot are soft, remove the bay leaf and then puree the soup with an immersion blender or by transferring the soup to a blender or food processor. Return to heat, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish the soup: Ladle the soup into a bowl. Using a strainer spoon, scoop up some mushrooms, letting excess liquid drain back into pan. Spread the spoonful of mushrooms over the top of the soup, and add an extra sage leaf or two for garnish if you like. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.
- Sautéing the mushrooms while the squash simmers makes good use of your time.
- We like to add a few shiitake mushrooms for additional flavor while keeping the costs down — i.e. most of the mushrooms here are the less expensive button mushrooms.
- The sage garnish looks great, but it does have a strong flavor! Go easy on it or skip if someone doesn’t like sage, or if you go for the white wine pairing.
Keywords: butternut squash soup, butternut squash soup with sage, butternut squash and mushrooms soup, wine pairing for butternut squash soup
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