Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Detox Cred: Soup is a smart liquid-meal option that's also less taxing on your digestive system. Fibrous squash makes this velvety, slightly sweet option satiating. Plus, research shows antioxidant-dense turmeric may boost the liver's ability to remove chemicals.
Whole Living, January/February January/February 2012
  • Yield Makes 8 cups
    Serves 6
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, quartered, and chopped
  • 4 cups chopped butternut squash
  • Coarse salt and pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, apple, squash, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover partially and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  3. Working in batches, puree until smooth in a blender. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Recipe Reviews

Reviews (24)

  • LittleRedFrog 14 Jan, 2014

    The soup is "alright". It tastes nice but isn't my favourite soup ever.
    I made half a batch which means I had it for 3 days - that was about 200 ml (about a cup) and that's not much for a lunch at work. I added a little bit of water as it thickened overnight but that still wasn't much.
    Today, I cubed an avocado in it and it made it a little better - but I'm a sucker for avocados so it might not work for everyone.
    This isn't part of the recipes I will make again.

  • kattyface 25 Mar, 2013

    This recipe is delicious. It has a wonderful layering of flavors. In addition, I add an apple cider syrup that I have to highlight the autumn goodness of this dish. Serve it with parmesan crisps, or warm biscuits!

  • Jenny Herritz 3 Mar, 2013

    This was good, but a little on the bland side. We used stock just to spruce it up, and it was still a little bland. Because it's so healthy, I would try it again, but I think I'd try doubling the spices.

  • Kimberly Genaw 3 Dec, 2012

    Easy, quick, satisfying new fav for squash soups! I added sweet potato ... divine :0)

  • rhieng 8 Aug, 2012

    still eating this long after the cleanse, absolutely my favorite recipe! I've even experimented with substituting sweet potatoes instead of squash it was just as delicious

  • EKEpling 14 Jun, 2012

    Delicious! Love the sweetness that the apple brings, and the pumpkin pie-ish spices. I also added vegetable stock (per other user reviews) to give it more flavor.

  • mandajean526 25 Mar, 2012

    The first time I made this, I followed the recipe to a "T" and it was very good. The second time, I made some changes. I used homemade vegetable stock (unsalted) instead of the water and it brought this soup up to a whole other level - without having to roast the vegetables as other reviewers suggest. Absolutely delicious - my favorite recipe in this cleanse plan by far!

  • Nettin 20 Mar, 2012

    Not a fan. I had to add extra salt just to eat it. But then, I don.t like squash. Did not like the texture either. So far this cleanse has been really tough. I'm not really liking the recipes so far with the exception of the smoothies. I hope everyone else is doing good.

  • TessD 28 Feb, 2012

    Eating this now and it's really great. I bumped up the cardamom, ginger and garlic a bit, and roasted the squash, carrots and apples. I prefer roasting to boiling most of the time. Lovely soup not just for detox but for any time!

  • melissamachete 19 Jan, 2012

    Excellent recipe! I slowly roasted the squash because I feel you always get more flavor. I also made my own almond milk and added that for creaminess. I also made a little pesto with some of the nuts I had (pistachio, almond, walnut) and cilantro. Really, really good stuff!!

  • moonlitdancer 19 Jan, 2012

    and yes you should peel the squash.

  • moonlitdancer 19 Jan, 2012

    This was really good! I will be making this again and again!

  • mkwirkus 16 Jan, 2012

    Do you have to peel the butternut squash?

  • sdmaple 14 Jan, 2012

    This is a very good recipe. The batch I made will last for three or four days.

  • 802karen 13 Jan, 2012

    This was a staple for us for lunch and dinner. With a bit of seasoning it was very nice and filling. Will make again for additional weeks of cleanse. Double the batch from the beginning as you will want this for quick easy meal during the week!

  • moonblisser 10 Jan, 2012

    I really enjoyed the flavors and velvety texture of this butternut squash soup. I left out the cardamom and cloves since I didn't have those on hand, but it was delicious nonetheless! I am going to keep this recipe on hand because it makes a truly wonderful fall/winter soup.

  • irishhearn 5 Jan, 2012

    Delicious and can't wait to make more... You can get cardamom small packets at whole foods or world market and they are much more affordable and totally worth it

  • jenniealice 5 Jan, 2012

    Delicious and spicy--almost like pumpkin pie filling in certain ways. For all commenters who left out the pricey cardamom, I feel your pain, but if your store sells it by the ounce in bulk, spring for it: I use it all the time because it has such an amazing flavor. Will certainly make this again, though I don't care for all the work in preparing butternut squash.

  • paintersage 5 Jan, 2012

    This is truly wonderful soup. Yes, I agree with another reviewer that cardomom is much too pricey these days to add it in, and I also have garam masala in my pantry which is a great substitute. If not leaving out the cardomom is just fine. I added roasted carrots and used acorn squash since I couldn't get butternut too and it worked fine. Lots of leftovers for more meals too!

  • Barlabean 5 Jan, 2012

    A really good recipe for the first night of this diet since it didn't feel like culinary pain and suffering. It's delicious.

  • jade408 4 Jan, 2012

    I swapped the cardamom, clovers and cinnamon for chinese 5 spice powder, and added a touch of cayenne pepper. It was good. Plan to serve with some fresh apples for texture.

  • bibliodiosa 4 Jan, 2012

    Delicious! I didn't add the cardamom and it was still very good. Filling, smells wonderful and beautiful to look at.

  • emilybobemily 3 Jan, 2012

    tried a little something different with the spices. we were trying to prepare this on a budget and cardamom is very pricy! we happened to already have garam masala in the pantry and substituted 1/4 tsp of it in place of the cardamom and cinnamon. turned out great!

  • Pamela12 3 Jan, 2012

    Excellent, made the whole kitchen smell wonderful all afternoon.