I recently made this easy healthy Creamy Chicken Soup for a friend and she told me that it was a magical soup that felt like the biggest hug. I can’t imagine a better compliment.
This soup gets its creaminess from roasted butternut squash. Once pureed, the squash gives the soup a rich creamy texture. This is the ideal recipe to prepare on a cold winter day.
The thing that I love about soup recipes is that you don’t have to strictly follow the recipe. The general concept of this recipe is to make chicken noodle soup, but instead of adding noodles, you add pureed roasted butternut squash which gives the soup a creamy texture.
I’ve made this soup a couple of times, and each time it’s slightly different. I’ve made it with leftover roasted chicken and homemade stock, and I’ve made it with rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and cartons of broth. To be honest, I couldn’t taste the difference. Save yourself time and use a rotisserie chicken and the store-bought broth.
Most recently, I wanted to give the soup a slightly spicy flavor so I added a poblano pepper. I also added red bell pepper, garlic, and corn, in addition to the classic onions, carrots, and celery. I had added mushrooms and broccoli to previous renditions of this soup. Sometimes I even add a touch of fresh lemon juice. Add your favorite vegetables and make it your own!
I like to add a generous sprinkle of fresh parmesan, and if I want to make it extra creamy, I do add a splash of heavy cream. Both are totally optional.
I experimented with using a blender to puree the roasted butternut square, but I found that simply mashing it in a bowl with a fork yielded the same results with less mess.
When it comes to preparing this soup, you want to get your squash roasting first since it takes about an hour. While the squash is cooking, you can chop and saute all of your other ingredients. The total preparation time is about 90 minutes. This recipe makes a big batch – about 6 servings. We love this soup so we usually just eat it for a few days, but you can opt to freeze some for later.
How to Make Creamy Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup:
- 1 small-medium sized Butternut Squash
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken, or 4 cups diced Chicken
- 6-8 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 1/2 cups diced Onion
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- 1 1/2 cups diced Carrot
- 1 1/2 cups diced Celery
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Poblano Pepper
- 1 cup Corn (frozen or fresh)
- about 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- about 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Optional: 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Very carefully, slice the squash in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet (inside facing up). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cover with foil and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes flip the squash, re-cover with foil, and let continue to roast until it is very tender.
- While the squash is roasting, you can chop all of the remaining ingredients and start the soup. The process of cooking the soup takes about 15 minutes before you need to add the squash, so it's best to wait to start cooking the soup until the squash is nearly ready.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Let cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add the carrot, celery, bell pepper, poblano pepper, and corn to the pot with the remaining olive oil. Season with more salt and pepper and stir. Let saute for 5 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of broth to the pot and stir. Let simmer for 5 minutes to cook the vegetables until they are slightly soft.
- Now turn your attention to the squash. Check to make sure that it is fork-tender and will mash easily. Once that is the case, remove it from the oven and scoop the squash into a mixing bowl. Mash well using a fork. Then add about a cup of chicken broth. Stir well, making sure there are no clumps. You could use an immersion blender if you really want, but I don't think it is necessary.
- Pour the squash mixture into the soup. Add the chicken, and parmesan, and stir.
- The thickness of the soup depends on your preferences. Go ahead and thin the soup with more broth until it reaches your desired texture.
- If you want to add cream, stir it in. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of parmesan. If you want to be fancy, swirl in a tiny bit of cream.
Note: this soup will soak up that broth as it sits. If you are saving leftovers you will probably want to add more broth when reheating.