Fall is my favorite time of year. I start to pull out my sweaters and boots in August, hoping for a drop in temp long before it’ll ever happen. And while summer is also at the top of my list, I’ll happily rush it along to get my first taste of fall. And this fall is no different than any other, I started it with my favorite soup – Autumn Squash & Leek Soup.
This soup is only 5 ingredients (plus seasoning) and can be made with just 4 if you steam your leeks in water instead of sauteeing in ghee. Either way, it’s absolutely delish! And good for you too.
What I love most is that I can use any squash I have on hand to make this soup. Although, my favorite is delicata squash paired with acorn. Delicata is what I look forward to all year as I wait for squash season to arrive. Its sweetness is to die for and perfect for this squash and leek soup.
So, what are those FIVE ingredients? Here they are – squash, leeks, garlic, ghee, and vegetable stock. Yup, that’s it. And it never fails. I make this soup often, and whether it’s on the thick or thinned outside, it doesn’t matter.
Typically, I don’t even use measurements. But I wanted to share the yumminess, so I slowed it down, measured everything out, and grabbed a few pics along the way.
A Few Tips
Vegan Option: If you’re interested in making this soup vegan instead of vegetarian you can substitute the ghee with vegan butter or just use water to steam the leeks.
Squash Varieties: I typically use butternut, acorn, and/or delicata. And I like to combine them. I think most varieties would work for this soup. I have never tried spaghetti squash and probably wouldn’t because of the stringy texture.
Prep Ahead: Most times I prepare the squash and garlic the night before I make my soup. I typically roast both in advance, wrap them in foil, and leave them in the fridge until I’m ready to make the soup. I prefer this because it’s easier to peel the squash after it’s cooled and not directly out of the hot oven. I also like to do this when I know I’ll appreciate having the bulk of the work done in advance and it makes it an even easier dinner to prep.
Thickness: I prefer a thicker soup. I don’t love how I feel after cream soups, but a thick squash soup reminds me of a creamy soup. I suggest adding in the vegetable stock slowly to reach your desired consistency.
The Beginning Steps to This Amazing Squash and Leek Soup
Here we go! The first thing I do is cut the squash into eighths and clean out the seeds. I usually go smaller than quarters because I like it when you get more of that roasted flavor on the edges. So the more pieces you cut it into, the more roasted it’ll be.
Sprinkle the squash with your seasoning of choice. Some of my go-to’s are turmeric, onion powder, and cumin. Plus a dash of pepper and a pinch of salt. I don’t overseason this soup as it isn’t necessary. The soup in these pictures only has salt, pepper, and turmeric.
If you’d like to get the seasoning to stick, then you can spray or drizzle with oil. Often I skip this step unless my husband is in the kitchen. He thinks everything is better with a drizzle of oil.
I keep a jar of roasted garlic in my cabinet at all times. It is a staple in my kitchen. But for those of you who don’t have that on hand, then I’d roast an entire head of garlic on the same sheet pan as my squash. First, cut the top off of your head of garlic, drizzle it with a little bit of oil, and wrap it in foil. Simply put that on the sheet pan and let the oven do the rest.
Cook the squash and garlic at 375 degrees until the squash is fork tender, usually about 50-60 minutes.
If I’m prepping ahead, all of the above is what I typically prep the night before.
While the Squash Is in the Oven
There’s only so much you can do while the squash is in the oven. Honestly, it takes a good 45 minutes until the squash gets to be fork tender. So this is when I prep the rest of the ingredients.
Start by preparing your leeks. Remove the green tops of the leeks and discard them. Or save them to make homemade vegetable stock. I put the ends, peels, and discards of my veggies into a ziplock bag in the freezer to save for when I’m ready to make a batch.
Make sure to wash your leeks well. They tend to be dirty in between their layers. I slice mine in quarters the long way and then dice. But it really doesn’t matter because once they are sauteed up they will be blended into the soup.
You can also measure out your vegetable stock. Otherwise, you’re waiting on the squash – again, this is why I like to cook the squash ahead. It makes this dinner seem much easier to prepare since there’s no waiting time to keep the recipe moving.
Steps After Your Squash Is Out of the Oven
When your squash is ready, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, or until you are able to handle it and peel off the skin. I find scooping it out with a spoon to be the easiest. But my husband likes to cut the skin off with a knife. Either way works.
After you peel the squash, heat the ghee over medium-high heat and when it’s melted add the leaks. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
In the meantime, squeeze the garlic out of the peel. Add it to the leeks and let it cook in with the leeks for a minute before adding the squash and vegetable stock.
I tend to add about 1 ½ cups of stock at first. And then I add more as needed to reach the desired consistency of the soup when I’m blending. I typically end up using about 2 ½ cups.
The final step is to blend the soup. I like to use an immersion blender right in the pot I’ve cooked the soup in. You can also use a high-speed blender or food processor.
As you blend you will see the consistency and decide if you would like to add more stock. The final step is to season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with garnish if you’d like. I prefer no garnish and my husband prefers cilantro. I think fresh parsley would be a nice addition too.
Time to Enjoy Your Squash and Leek Soup!
This is a very filling soup. I like to have it with just a slice of grilled sourdough. It’s simple and delicious to dip into the squash and leek soup. It’s also perfect for the last few bites when you wipe the bowl with it!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy fall and happy soup season!
Autumn Squash and Leek Soup
- 2 Squash I prefer acorn and delicata
- 1 Head of Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 2 Leeks
- 3 C Vegetable Stock
- S&P to Taste
- Cut each squash into eights and season with S&P. You can add other seasonings if you prefer. Roast at 350 degrees on a foil-lined sheet pan until fork tender. Approx. 50-60 minutes
- Cut the top off of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Add to the sheet pan with the squash and roast.
- Discard the green tops of the leeks. Dice the bottom white parts. Make sure to wash well as they tend to have dirt between their layers.
- Once the squash is done, let them sit to cool a bit until you can handle them. Peel the squash.
- In the meantime, heat the ghee over medium-high heat, add the leeks and saute until they are golden brown, about 7 minutes.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery shell and add to the leeks. Continue sauteeing for another minute. Add the squash and then 2 cups of the vegetable stock.
- Blend all ingredients together using an immersion blender, high-speed blender, or food processor. If using a high-speed blender, be sure to cover the top. I like to cover the small hole with a towel to be able to release steam during the blending process.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- Garnish with cilantro or parsley.