butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, gluten-free

This butternut squash soup shimmers with a bit of pear cider, a taste of sage, and the depth of roasted vegetables. It works any day of the fall you feel like eating it, but it might be an especially nice starter for the Thanksgiving meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Pear Cider

1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, and chopped
5 stalks celery, rough chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, peeled and rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
8 large leaves sage
1 Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup olive oil
3-4 scrapes of fresh nutmeg
1 cup pear cider (apple is fine too)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Preparing to cook. Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Put the butternut squash, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, sage, and pear into a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and fruit and toss them together well. Pour them onto a baking sheet.

Roasting the vegetables. Put the baking sheet into the hot oven. Roast the vegetables until they are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. (You should be able to put a fork right through them.) Take the baking sheet out of the oven.

Blending the soup. Pour 1/3 of the roasted vegetables into a blender, with 1/3 of the chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add 1/3 of the oil. Puree until really smooth. Pour that soup into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining vegetables, stock, and oil.

Finishing the soup. Strain the soup through a chinois or fine-mesh sieve. Return the soup to the pot. Add the cider. Season the soup with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and taste. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Feeds 8.

27 comments on “butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, gluten-free

  1. Cari

    SO fun to see your vitamixer in a video! I just love mine for pureeing soups. I love squash soup and I love apple cider but not together, the cider is just too sweet. The idea of pear juice or pear cider really appeals. Remember if your sober like me you really do want to cook off any alcohol you might add to the soup. This looks wonderful guys!

  2. Alice

    I see in the recipe that besides the oil on the vegs that are roasted, there is an additional cup of olive oil blended into the soup. I haven’t seen this technique for soup before. Does this volume of oil take the place that sour cream or cream would in a dairy-based soup? Does the oil separate out if the soup stands or during refrigeration? Just curious, it is a beautiful soup, and I saw a new technique today.

    1. shauna

      You got it. Using oil at the end, in the blender, helps emulsify the soup. This means you don’t need cream or butter, making this a healthier soup. If you whirl it up in the blender, the oil should not separate.

  3. lisa

    I adore butternut squash soup but make mine differently. I’m sure roasting imparts a deeper flavor though and will have to try it. I peel, seed and cube the squash, then add it to some onions and garlic which I am browning in oil and a touch of butter for a special occasion. After a couple of minutes I add low sodium chicken broth and simmer until tender, about 20-25 mins. I like to add herbs like thyme or Italian herb blends as well. I puree it in the pot with an immersion blender and if for a special occasion, stir in some half and half so it has creamy swirls in it for visual and flavor but we have enjoyed it just as much without the cream and butter.

  4. Denise

    I love these videos. I definitely enjoy watching the process. But I also miss having a nice picture of each dish on your posts because I print some of these recipes and I’m a really sucker for recipes with pictures. (I always note all due credit of course) When I’m in the mood for something delicious from you two, and I’m flipping through my GFG&C Binder of delicious recipes, it’s nice to have the picture to entice me. I’m one of those all-senses kind of eaters. Looks, smells, flavors, textures, digestion, and even sounds (love a fajita sizzle!) Any chance you might add back one lovely shot of your dishes to accompany the videos? Or is this recipe in your cookbook? (I’ve got it on my xmas list this year, now that it’s out in paperback)

      1. Denise

        You sure do and I’m so grateful for all your hard work! Thanks for doing so much. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Carolyn

    You two are the best – love your sense of humour and your love of food.
    I don’t usually enjoy cooking that much but you always make it fun and interesting to try new recipes. Thanks for all your energy and enthusiasm !
    Happy Thanksgiving to you both and Lucy 🙂

  6. Carolyn

    Your app is beautiful. I am about to try the sandwich bread but, I don’t see how much baking powder should be included.

    1. shauna

      Don’t use the baking powder! We took it out, because it made the top sink a bit. That will be fixed in an update soon!

  7. A Bit of Brooklyn

    This is my favorite kind of gluten-free cooking! The kind of recipe that is (normally) inherently gluten-free. Sounds delicious, love the concept of using pear with squash! Thanks!

  8. Basilqueen

    My daughter and I love watching your videos – the musical touch is very nice. Aside of course from the recipes.

  9. Olga


    Quick question: Does this make 8 servings of the size shown in the video’s beginning (a little hot glass), or does it make 8 servings of somewhat larger size? I am having 11 people over for Thanksgiving and want to target a good total. Thank you.

    1. shauna

      Oh, you can make it two days before Thanksgiving. Soup always grows better with a couple of days in the refrigerator.

  10. stacey

    I just made this and OMG, holy cow, WOWZA! I think I can just toss my other butternut squash soup recipe. It’s fantastic!

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