This cozy white bean and butternut squash soup with kale is full of garlic, herbs, flavorful stock, and good-for-you veggies. Drizzled with olive or garlic oil, a hunk of sourdough tucked alongside to sop up any leftover broth, this is a perfect cozy fall/winter meal to make all season long. Gluten free and vegan-friendly.

A bowl of white bean and butternut squash soup with kale.

A cozy white bean and butternut squash soup

… because we could all use a little comfort food this time of year.

This cozy white bean and butternut squash soup is ultimate, soul-warming, nourishing goodness. The pot is full of garlic and herbs and Fall veggies and good stock, and it’s no wonder I keep going back to variations of this recipe, over and over again.

It’s the sort of cozy, cold-weather soup that I crave all season long, but especially right now. And I’m guessing many of you do too.

A pile of miniature orange and green and white striped pumpkins at the farmers market.

what you’ll love about this veggie soup

This white bean and butternut soup begins in a predictable – and lovely – way: with good stuff like sautéed onion, fresh garlic, and aromatic herbs.

First, I quickly caramelize the butternut squash in a bit of olive oil, adding flavor and texture, before the veggies simmer away in the garlicky, herby, lemony soup base. Using a rich chicken or vegetable stock is most important, as a bulk of the flavor comes from long-simmering broth, either store-bought or homemade (my preference).

Also added to the mix – fresh lemon juice, baby kale leaves, and white beans (I’m a fan of cannelini or navy beans), which work so well in soups like this. And in less than an hour, the result is a healthy and hearty, wonderfully flavorful soup to cozy up with on a chilly day. Happy cooking!!

Chunks of butternut squash on a sheet pan ready to be roasted for butternut squash soup.

Ingredients in this butternut squash and white bean soup

This cozy butternut squash soup with white beans and kale is easy and healthy and full of flavor. You likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now. Because this soup is so simple, it’s the perfect time to really go for the best quality ingredients, but especially when it comes to the broth. If you have homemade stock or broth on hand, now is its time to shine. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • butternut squash: of course! Healthy and vibrant squash gives this vegetarian soup a hearty boost.
  • olive oil and butter: we’ll use both for extra layers of flavor. For a plant based version you can simply use all olive oil or a vegan butter.
  • onion and garlic: add tons of flavor to the soup broth.
  • herbs: aromatic rosemary, thyme, and oregano. You can also use fresh!
  • lemon: fresh lemon juice adds a lovely brightness and acid. I always reach for Meyer lemons for a bit more sweetness when available.
  • chicken or vegetable stock: use a really good, rich stock for the best overall flavor. Homemade is even better if you have it.
  • salt and pepper: just a pinch of each to intensify all the other flavors.
  • cannellini beans: white beans are naturally creamy, and add heartiness to this otherwise veggie-filled soup. Use your favorite white bean here (cannellini, navy, great northern, etc.).
  • kale: adds freshness and nutritional value. I prefer to use baby kale or roughly chopped Lacinato kale, but feel free to substitute your favorite greens.

Find all the exact measurements and recipe instructions below.

A bowl of white bean and butternut squash soup with kale.

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup: FAQs

Can I use roasted butternut squash?

Sure! While the recipe is written for sautéing the squash in the pan (one pot for the win!), in practice, I make this soup both ways. Roasting adds a bit more caramelization and is a great way to repurpose extra roasted veggies. After peeling and seeding the butternut squash, cut it into large chunks or bite sized cubes, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400℉ for 25-30 minutes until golden and tender.

Can I freeze this butternut squash soup?

Yes! When the soup is cool enough to handle, ladle it into glass canning jars or other freezer safe containers, leaving about 1/2 of space at the top for expansion. Place in the refrigerator until chilled, then freeze for up to 3 months. If I’m planning to freeze a batch of this soup, for the best flavor and texture, I always wait to add the kale or other greens until I’m ready to reheat and serve.

What to serve with this butternut squash soup?

Drizzled with good olive or garlic oil, a hunk of sourdough tucked alongside to sop up any leftover broth, and this is a perfect cozy fall/winter meal. It’s a hearty soup as is, thanks to the butternut squash and beans, but for more bulk you could add pasta, grains, or some chicken or sausage. Or serve it with a simple crisp green salad. If you like spice, finishing with some red pepper flakes would be lovely. So would a tiny splash of champagne vinegar. Or a sprinkling of fresh parmesan.

And be sure to try these other cozy Fall soup recipes too:

If you make this butternut squash and white bean soup recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it! ★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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A bowl of white bean and butternut squash soup with kale.

Tuscan White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

  • Author: Laura Bolton
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soup, Savory
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This cozy white bean and butternut squash soup is full of garlic, herbs, flavorful stock, and good-for-you Fall veggies. Gluten free and vegan-friendly.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, minced
  • 12 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter ¹
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 small lemon, juiced ²
  • 4 cups (32 oz) rich chicken or vegetable stock
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can cooked cannelini beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 11/2 cups baby kale leaves ³

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the butternut squash, and cook, turning occasionally, until just beginning to caramelize and soften, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the butternut squash to a plate.
  2. Add the onion to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, and just beginning to brown.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or two.
  4. Add the butter, and as it melts, stir in the herbs. Let cook for another minute or two until the onions are lightly golden.
  5. Add the butternut squash back to the pot, along with the lemon juice and stock, and stir to combine.
  6. Cover, and bring the stock just to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Add the white beans and kale leaves, and continue to simmer until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. If using a more delicate green, such as spinach, add right before serving. Serve warm with crusty bread. Enjoy!!


Notes

¹ Make it vegan: use all olive oil, omit the butter completely, or use vegan butter (such as Earth Balance spread)

² One small lemon should yield 2-3 Tbsp of juice. Adjust according to your tastes. If you can find them, Meyer lemons are my favorite choice. They’re in season in Winter and add a welcome flavor and brightness to the soup.

³ Feel free to substitute spinach, Swiss chard, or your favorite tender green for the kale.

Keywords: white bean and butternut squash soup, white bean soup, butternut squash soup, tuscan, fall vegetable, easy, healthy, vegetarian, vegan

Originally published November 9, 2016. Recipe notes updated September 1, 2021.