A full-flavored, richly textured meal, this Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Soup has it all: spicy and bold Italian sausage, tender white beans, tangy diced tomatoes, and a base of pureed butternut squash. So, SO good!
Creamy Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Soup
There’s something about the yummy, fennel-spiced Italian sausage in this soup that seems to welcome cooler weather. The colors, texture, and yummy butternut flavor are just cozy comfort food through and through.
I love making this quick and easy soup on weeknights! It only takes about half an hour, but tastes like it simmered all day.
This butternut squash soup is made with healthy, easy to find ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Butter: For sauteing. You can also use your favorite cooking oil.
- Onion: I use a yellow onion here, but you can substitute any type of onion.
- Red Bell Pepper: This adds a sweet and pungent flavor to the finished soup, plus a nice punch of color!
- Italian Sausage: You’ll need about 1 pound of bulk Italian sausage. You can also use Italian sausage links, removing the casings before cooking.
- Fresh Garlic: Mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press.
- Squash: This recipe uses about 2.5 pounds of butternut squash (that’s about one medium squash), peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch cubes.
- Chicken Broth: You’ll need 6 cups of broth. I use low-sodium chicken broth, but you can substitute homemade broth, vegetable broth, or bone broth. Each will have a slightly different flavor profile.
- Bay Leaf
- Northern Beans: 1 can of great northern beans, well rinsed and drained.
- Diced Tomatoes: 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained.
- Salt and Pepper
- Heavy Cream and Chopped Fresh Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
This soup comes together pretty quickly on the stovetop without sacrificing any of that “simmered all day” flavor that’s the hallmark of comfort food. Here’s how to make it:
- Saute the Onions, Peppers, Garlic, and Sausage. In a dutch oven or stockpot, melt the butter. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the sausage and cook through, breaking up the sausage into crumbles. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove the sausage mixture from the pot and set aside.
- Simmer the Squash. Add the chopped squash to the pot, stir in the chicken broth, add the bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until butternut squash is tender. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.
- Blend the Soup and Add the Remaining Ingredients. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (you can also blend the soup in a blender and return it to the pot afterwards). As the soup continues to cook over medium heat, add the beans, tomatoes, sausage mixture, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
- Garnish and Serve!
Tips for the Perfect Bowl of Soup
- Veggie prep tips: Large, firm veggies with thick peels like rutabaga and butternut squash can be difficult to prep. Your best bet? Use a really sharp knife that’s fairly large, to avoid accidents caused by flimsier knives that need more muscle behind them. You can find more tips here! OR, grab 2 to 3 bags of already-cut butternut squash.
- Slow-Roasted Flavor: If you have a little more time, you can roast the squash instead of simmering it! Cut whole squash in half, drizzle with a little olive oil, and roast (cut-side up) on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes at 400°F. After you remove the sausage mixture from the pot, add this roasted squash along with the chicken broth and bay leaf to the pot, and just heat through before blending.
- Creamy substitutions: Feel free to substitute creme fraiche for the heavy cream.
- Diary free & vegetarian options: By omitting the cream and replacing the butter with oil, you can make this recipe dairy-free. Use veggie broth instead of chicken broth, and you have a healthier masterpiece!
How to Garnish This Homemade Soup
There are so many delicious ways to garnish soup! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Croutons: Any kind, really, but I love homemade ones!
- Fried Aromatics: Yep, a lightly-fried sprinkle of sliced garlic, shallot, or onion makes a lovely garnish.
- Cheese: I’m not saying you should pop a slice of gruyere or swiss cheese on top of this and put it in a warm oven to melt… wait… YES, yes I am. Just be sure to use oven-safe bowls or ramekins and don’t let the cheese burn!
- Veggies: From salsa and cucumber to kimchi and piccalilli, there are lots of tangy and fresh-tasting options to add a punch to your soup!
- Quick and Creamy: I think this soup goes nicely with a simple but creamy side, like my Quick Cream Cheese Spaghetti. Filling and delicious!
- Rich Textures: You’re in for an avalanche of texture and flavor if you pair this soup with a chopped salad. Try an Avocado Tomato Salad, it’s amazing!
- Simply Sweet: Don’t pass up on any opportunity to serve these delightful little hand pies. Pumpkin Cheesecake Crescent Rolls for the win!
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Soup
- To refrigerate: Cover the soup tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To reheat: Place the desired portion of soup in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until just heated through.
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Soup?
- Yes, you can! To freeze this soup, place it in freezer bags or other airtight freezer containers, with as little air as possible inside once sealed. This soup keeps frozen for up to one month.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound ground Italian Sausage, (I use Hot Italian Sausage in casings)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) great northern beans, well rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heavy cream, for garnish, optional
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a dutch oven or stockpot set over medium heat. Add onions and peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage into crumbles as it cooks.
- Add garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage mixture from the pot and set aside.
- Melt remaining butter in the pot set over medium heat; add squash to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Then stir in chicken broth; add bay leaf, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and continue to simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender. Start checking around the 10-minute mark. Note: The larger the chunks of butternut squash, the longer it will take for them to soften.
- Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. Remove couple handfuls of butternut squash chunks from the soup and set aside. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. You can also blend the soup in a blender. Return soup back to the stockpot.
- Return the butternut squash chunks back to the pot. Set stockpot over medium heat. To the soup, add beans, tomatoes, and previously prepared sausage mixture; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through.
- Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly. Drizzle with cream. Garnish with parsley. Serve.