Eat Well Oct. 22. 2013

Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Oct. 22. 2013
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A creamy, thick, slightly sweet and very hearty soup for winter months.

This Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, hands down is one I have in constant supply my kitchen during fall and winter seasons. It’s incredibly creamy, thick, slightly sweet, very hearty and comforting in the cooler months of the year. I promise, even if you’re not a fan of butternut squash or maybe haven’t used it much in your cooking, this one is a hit in the kitchen! Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is filled of roasted and naturally caramelized butternut squash, dates, seasonal organic apples, almond milk, warming spices, and a hint of citrus from orange to balance the sweet flavors.

I like taking advantage of this beautifully colored and delicious tasting vegetable along with one of my favorite root vegetables, carrots, when it’s in season. If you’re not familiar with what butternut squash looks like, it reminds me of a pale yellow football or pear-shaped gourd (see above). Butternut squashes have a thick skin compared to others like a yellow or zucchini squash where the skin can be eaten. After you peel the outer skin of the butternut squash, you reveal it’s golden yellow and slightly orange interior, which is the considered the edible flesh of the squash.

Butternut squash is wonderful when steamed, roasted, or cooked and pureed such as in this recipe. My favorite way to prepare this type of squash is roasting it and allowing some of the natural sugars to surface and caramelize in the oven- not to mention when the fragrance of roasting butternut squash with coconut oil and cinnamon fills the air, it’s divine.

Not only is butternut squash beautiful and vibrant, but it’s also has a thick and creamy flesh which is perfect for using in soups, dips, salads, and more. Butternut squash is one of many plant-based foods high in beta-carotene which is converted in the body to vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant. Now that we’re entering in the fall and winter months (a.k.a. cold and flu season for many of us), we need to protect and arm our bodies with nutrient soldiers to fight off the flu, bacterias, and viruses as much as possible. This is where food is medicine, my friends, consuming nutrient-dense foods high in antioxidants that our bodies need for healthy immune function. Vitamin A, of course, helps with immune function, anti-cancer benefits, cardiovascular benefits, protects against inflammation and helps our vision and eyesight stay healthy.


Nutrient breakdown of BUTTERNUT SQUASH 

  • Vitamin A } 163% of your DRI in just 1 cup!
    • Carotenoids } beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • B Vitamins } niacin, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Fiber

Fun Fact

Carotenoids such as the ones found in butternut squash, carrots, and tomatoes are increased in bioavailability when cooked or eaten with healthy fats in our diet. This butternut squash soup is perfect for increasing the bioavailability of the carotenoids with the cooking process and added good fats such as coconut oil.

Apples // Make sure you’re using organic apples, these are on the “dirty dozen” list for fruits/vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticide residue.

What do you enjoy dipping into your soups? Share below!

With gratitude,

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 6-8



5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (after roasting)

4 cups unsweetened almond milk

3 cups filtered water

1 large organic apple, about 1 cup (I used Fuji)

1/2 cup organic carrot, chopped

1/4 cup sweet onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves

2 large dates, pitted

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

juice of 1 orange


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and grease lightly with coconut oil (by spreading or dolloping on the bottom).

Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash while whole until the thick skin has been removed and you’re left with the bright orange flesh.

After peeling, cut squash long ways (creating 2 halves).

Scoop the seeds from the wide end of the butternut squash, using a spoon.

Cut remaining butternut squash pieces into 1-2 inch cubes.

Spread the cubed and peeled butternut squash cubes onto the lined and greased baking sheet.

Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and a dash of cinnamon.

Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft (you can bake longer to create a more caramelized end product, upwards to 45 minutes).

In a skillet, saute the onions and garlic until soft and fragrant.

Add roasted butternut squash, sauteed onions and garlic and all remaining ingredients in a Vitamix, high-speed blender, emersion blender, food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Keep chilled until serving.

Serve warm/hot and garnish with Classic Cashew Cheese or crunchy walnut, pumpkin seeds.


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