Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup is a vegan recipe that gets its creaminess from pureeing the cooked vegetables with some silken tofu. Delicious fall flavors accentuated by sage and nutmeg spice.
Homemade soup doesn’t have to take a long time to make! This soup can be on the table in 40 minutes after you start preparing it. Skip the can, and enjoy this vegan butternut squash soup recipe for dinner soon.
The last time we shared this soup with a friend, she quickly asked for the recipe — always a good sign! So we figured it was time to update this creamy butternut squash soup for our readers here on Cooking Chat.
A soup for World Vegetarian Day
I first shared this Vegan Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach for a Sunday Supper event hosted by Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian. The event was held in conjunction with World Vegetarian Day.
When I started cooking, I was making almost exclusively vegetarian meals. I was typically sharing those meals with Jodi back when we were dating, and she was vegetarian at the time. I got myself a copy of The Moosewood Cookbook and a couple of other resources and soon had a good base of vegetarian recipes I would make.
One of our all time family favorites definitely this Fettuccine Primavera recipe!
Then I started experimenting and coming up with my own creations and I was on my way to becoming a serious home cook and food blogger. Though I now cook meat and fish regularly, I love having a base of vegetarian meals to serve for a healthy dinner.
If you like this soup, you might also like our Curried Acorn Squash Soup, another vegetarian recipe.
How to make soup creamy without dairy
I’ve always loved a creamy soup. But many people are interested in vegan soup recipes, or simply avoiding dairy. So how can you make a soup creamy without dairy?
A thick, creamy soup is actually pretty easy to make without dairy.
The key to my approach for a creamy, dairy free soup is to cook up the vegetables along with some broth — vegetable broth if you want to make a vegan soup. You can use chicken broth if you aren’t focused on a keeping it vegetarian.
Once the vegetables are good and soft, puree the soup with an immersion blender. This will give you a vegetable soup that is thick and creamy in its consistency.
You can add additional ingredients to add to the creamy aspect of the soup, as well as bringing more nutrition to the table. In this recipe, we add silken tofu for that purpose. You can also try adding white beans or chickpeas. And we sometimes also use coconut creamer for dairy free cream.
Some other creamy soups on Cooking Chat without dairy include:
Here’s a quick summary of major ingredients for this creamy vegan butternut squash soup along with some notes about adjustments and optional ingredients.
Butternut squash is of course an essential ingredient for this soup! I usually use a whole butternut squash which I peel, seed and chop.
The recipe calls for a medium butternut squash, yielding about 7 cups of chopped squash.
The last time I made this butternut squash and spinach soup, we had a rather small squash, which gave about 5 cups of squash. If you have a smaller portion of squash like this, it is a good idea to scale back the liquid by about ½ cup in order to get the desired creaminess.
Silken tofu brings additional creamy texture after it is pureed into the soup, and adds more protein. You could skip this if you prefer.
Baby spinach gets added after the soup is pureed, bringing some additional color and nutrition. I like the combination of a creamy soup with wilted spinach. But if you want a consistent creamy texture, you can add the spinach prior to pureeing the soup.
Parsnips weren’t in my originally recipe, but they made a nice addition when I added them to use some I had on hand. Try adding parsnip if you have some handy!
Below is an overview of the steps for making Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup. Head down to the recipe card for all the details.
Sauté the onion with the olive oil in a large pan.
Stir in the carrots, and parsnips if using. Add the garlic after the carrots have been cooking for a few minutes.
Add the squash and the potatoes, stirring to combine with the onion mixture.
Add the broth and water, along with sage.
Simmer the soup for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Purée the soup when the vegetables are soft. Ideally, if you have an immersion blender, that makes the pureeing easy. Otherwise, transfer in batches to a food processor to purée.
Finish the soup by adding nutmeg, salt and pepper, and baby spinach to the soup. Give the spinach a couple of minutes to wilt, then you are ready to serve!
We like to serve this butternut squash soup topped with some pumpkin seeds, and some crusty bread on the side.
Wine pairing for soups can be a little tricky, trying to math the beverage with a food that is primarily liquid. I tend to go for a fuller bodied white or a red that isn’t too oaky or tannic.
Based on our past pairing notes, when remaking this butternut squash soup recently, we went with a Pinot.
The 2018 Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (appx. $22) has violet notes on the nose. Cranberry and cherry fruit, with a bit of chocolate, on the palate. A pleasant, easy sipping Pinot, and a good pairing for the soup.
Previously, we have had the soup with a basic Merlot that worked fairly well. In the white department, we have tried a Muscat. This white with some residual sugar provided a nice contrast with the nutmeg spice.
Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup
Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup is a vegan recipe that gets its creaminess from pureeing the cooked vegetables with some silken tofu. Delicious fall flavors accentuated by sage and nutmeg spice.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped, optional
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 7 cups squash)
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth, preferably low sodium
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp dried sage
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 7 ozs silken tofu (one half of a typical container)
- salt and pepper to taste
- tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- Sauté the onion: 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, and parsnip if using, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic, 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 sage.
- 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.
- Purée the soup: When the vegetables in the soup pot are soft, puree the soup with an immersion blender or by transferring the soup to a blender or food processor.
- Add the tofu: After pureeing the soup, scoop in the silken tofu, and puree the tofu so that it is fully incorporated into the soup.
- Finish the soup: Return to heat. Add the nutmeg plus salt and pepper to taste, and rosemary if using. Add the spinach, and let the spinach cook for a few minutes so that it begins to wilt.
- Serve: Ladle the soup into a bowl, and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on top. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.
- Parsnips: I wouldn’t go buying parsnips just for this recipe, but if you have some on hand, this soup is a good way to use them. We had a lot from our local farm share last time we were making this!
- Small squash: If you have a smaller squash, you can cut the liquid back by ½ cup to 1 cup. For the last remake of this recipe, I had a small squash last time we made this recipe – about 5 cups, and reduced to ½ cup water.
Keywords: creamy butternut squash soup, creamy soup without dairy, butternut squash and spinach soup, creamy vegan butternut squash soup