Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage (V, GF)

All the fall flavors in one bowl, with butternut squash, apple, cauliflower, quick fried crispy sage and cinnamon toasted pumpkin seeds.


This low-fat, low-carb, comfort in a bowl soup is surprisingly easy to throw together, even though the title of this does sound a bit fancy-schmancy.  Make it ahead for easy meal prep or freeze it for meals down the road when you're in a pinch.

How to Make Crispy Sage

Crispy sage adds a whole other depth of flavor to this butternut squash soup.  Typically sage is always a great herb to add to fall dishes, especially with squash.  By crisping it up, it brightens the flavors and adds a bit of texture to an otherwise creamy soup.

To make the crispy sage, heat enough olive oil in a pan to cover the bottom of it in a thin layer, over medium-high heat.  Once the oil starts to shimmer in color, it's ready for a quick fry.  Take fresh sage leaves and carefully drop them in one by one in a single layer, letting them quickly sizzle for 15-20 seconds.  Remove them quickly and let them cool on a paper towel and sprinkle salt over the sage.  

You can either serve the sage leaves right on top as pictured, or crush them up in the soup, whatever you prefer.

How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The roasted pumpkin seeds are a must for this soup.  Not only does it add texture and crunch to the soup, but it also flavors the soup with just a hint of sweetness.

I like to use a local vanilla sugar on these, but a pinch of just brown sugar will do as well.  Toss them in a little oil, then add the seasonings and bake in a single layer.  Garnish the soup with them or stir them right in before serving.

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage & Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

All the fall flavors in one bowl, with butternut squash, apple, cauliflower, quick fried crispy sage and cinnamon toasted pumpkin seeds.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6


  • immersion blender
  • heavy bottomed stock pot


  • 1 large butternut squash, ends removed, peeled and chopped
  • 16 oz cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
  • 1 medium golden delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 15 oz light coconut milk
  • 2 C low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (+ more for pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil (+ more for frying and roasting)
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar (optional)


  • Heat a large soup pot over medium-high and add in the squash, apple, cauliflower, broth, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 10-12 minutes, or until everything has softened.
  • While the veggies simmer, heat a small pan with 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat and saute the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add them into the pot while it all simmers.
  • Once the veggies are done, use an immersion blender to puree everything in the pot, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To make the crispy sage: use the same small pan as before and add in as much olive oil is needed to fill the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-high and once the oil is shimmering, add in sage leaves a few at a time, frying for 10-20 seconds. Remove and place them on a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt.
  • To make the cinnamon toasted pumpkin seeds: heat the oven to 350 and line a small baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. Stir together the pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of cinnamon and, if you have it, a sprinkle of vanilla sugar (you can also use brown sugar). Toast in the oven in one layer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve the soup with the toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy sage on top, and enjoy!


  • This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze, just wait to make the pumpkin seeds and crispy sage until right before you serve them.
  • You could also serve this with homemade croutons or foccacia bread.
Lauren Collins

I'm a health coach and plant-based recipe creator from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a few short words, I love to cook, eat, travel, play around with food photography and most of all, I love to help people live healthier and happier lives. A lot of the recipes you see here are adapted from my Mom, or from just throwing a few ingredients together until something magical happens.

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