Dairy-free butternut squash soup is seriously the BEST! Sauteed collards make this classic comfort food heartier and healthier.
For me, soup is the ultimate comfort food, and I love that you can whip up a pot of dairy-free butternut squash soup on even the busiest weeknight. This soup is rich, creamy, and hearty, and you only need eight ingredients to make it.
Does butternut squash soup contain dairy?
It certainly can, but you can easily make creamy, dairy-free butternut squash soup that's just as delicious.
You don't even need to add vegan milk to do it!
Sautéed butternut squash blends up with broth and spices to make a creamy soup, no dairy needed! It's truly magical.
A lot of butternut squash soup recipes use roasted squash as the base. While I love the flavor of roasted squash, I don't love having an extra dish to wash.
Instead of roasting, you are going to saute your cubed squash -- along with garlic and onion -- right in your soup pot. You still get the richness that comes with roasting with one less dirty dish.
After the saute, you just add your remaining soup ingredients to the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the squash gets nice and tender.
While the soup simmers, grab a frying pan and saute your chopped collard greens. If you've never had pan-fried collards before, you are in for a treat!
They have a totally different texture from the collard greens you're probably used to. They're tender and toothsome, a perfect contrast to the creamy soup.
By now, the squash is done simmering, and it's time to puree. You can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to do this. If you use a regular blender, just let the soup cool before blending it in batches, because hot soup in the blender can explode.
Add the cooked collards to the pureed soup, and it's time to eat!
You have some time-saving options that you can use in this recipe, and I took these into account when I calculated the prep time.
First, you don't have to start with a whole butternut squash. Sure, you can do that, but on a busy weeknight, it's OK to splurge on pre-cut squash. You can find it in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.
The same thing goes for the collard greens. I tend to buy chopped, bagged collards instead of buying it by the bunch. First, of course, I love the time savings. But also, collard bunches tend to be huge! A bag has an amount of collards that my family can actually eat before it spoils.
If you cook with garlic often, I also recommend investing in a garlic press. I don't love unitaskers in the kitchen in general, but a garlic press is one that gets enough use to make sense to me. It saves so much time!
There are so many ways to mix up this soup!
First, feel free to use other winter squash in place of butternut. Pumpkin, acorn, and kabocha squash all work great in this recipe.
The vegetable broth is another thing you can mix and match. Mushroom broth is a fun substitute, and so are roasted garlic or roasted onion broths. You can even use miso broth in this recipe!
If thyme isn't your jam, feel free to omit it or to mix and match spices. Italian seasoning is lovely in this soup. Basil or oregano -- or both! -- also work well.
You can also go a whole other direction and use curry powder instead of thyme. In that case, add two tablespoons of fresh or two teaspoons of dried ginger, as well.
To add some heat, sprinkle on crushed red pepper for spicy butternut squash soup.
This hearty soup makes a great side dish or even a main dish!
As an entree, I like to add something to make it feel like a meal. Air fryer croutons or roasted chickpeas both make great toppings. Or whip up a quick side of vegan garlic bread for dipping.
You can store the soup and the collards together in an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for three to five days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Dairy-free butternut squash soup freezes well! Just transfer the cooled soup to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to six months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- 4 tablespoons olive oil - divided
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash - 1" cubes
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 3 packed cups collard greens - chopped
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil on medium-high, and saute the onion, garlic, and squash, stirring frequently, until the onions soften, 10-12 minutes.
- Add the broth, thyme, and nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
- While the squash simmers, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan on medium high. Add the collards and cook, stirring, until the collards become bright green and tender. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
- Once the squash is tender, turn off the heat and grab your immersion blender (or do this in batches in a standard blender -- see notes), and puree the soup.
- Once the soup is pureed, warm it up on medium, just until everything is heated through again, and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the collards.