Apple Butternut Squash Soup

October 21, 2010

Over the past few weeks I have been busy making soups and stews using CSA ingredients, and today I have the final soup recipe (for now!)! Last year I posted my recipe for a more traditional version of butternut squash soup, and while I don’t like to post two of the same recipe, I came across a different one that I just had to make. The original recipe, Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Bisque, was recommended by Gourmet Girl Magazine. When I saw the recipe I knew I needed to make some tweaks to make it a little more nutritious, while still maintaining the delicious flavors. Here is the recipe before and after:

Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Bisque
Serves: 16, Serving Size: 1 cup (I think the serving size should be double!!)


Original Version Nutritioulicious Version
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 ounce garlic cloves, whole 1 ounce garlic cloves, whole
2 ounces butter, melted 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 ounce brown sugar 1 ounce brown sugar
12 fluid ounces Vermont apple cider 12 fluid ounces Vermont apple cider
38 fluid ounces vegetable stock 38 fluid ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
1 fluid ounce cider vinegar 1 fluid ounce cider vinegar
1.5 tsp cinnamon 1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg 1 pinch nutmeg
10 fluid ounces heavy cream 10 fluid ounces nonfat milk
1 tablespoon 0% fat Greek yogurt + a dollop on each serving
Salt and pepper, to taste Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft. Add butternut squash, brown sugar, apple cider, vegetable stock, cider vinegar, and spices. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender.
  2. Puree with blender while adding the milk. Once the soup is creamy and there are no chunks left, stir in a tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Blend again if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt on top.
butternut squash soup
Nutritioulicious Version

The main differences in the original recipe vs my version are the decrease in sources of saturated fat – using olive oil for butter, nonfat milk for cream, and using nonfat Greek yogurt to add back the creaminess that may be lost from using nonfat milk. I also cut out some of the sodium by using low-sodium stock.

Take a look at the nutrition facts per serving for both recipes:
Nutrition Facts (original recipe): 198 calories, 2 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 153 mg sodium
Nutrition Facts (Nutritioulicious recipe): 86 calories, 2 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 62 mg sodium

As you can see, the original recipe has more than double the calories, five times the fat, and almost two and a half times the sodium of my version. Not to mention more saturated fat and cholesterol. And the new one still tasted delicious! See, tweaking recipes to make them better for you isn’t so difficult!

Do you ever modify recipes to make them healthier?

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  1. That looks delicious – I love butternut squash soups and the addition of apple cider looks so interesting I might have to try it soon! I always modify recipes to make them healthier and you did an awesome job!

  2. I’ve been modifying recipes to make them healthier for a long time! I just do simple swaps and it’s amazing how much lighter a recipe can be!! I am anvious to try a butternut squash soup! This looks like just the recipe! Thanks!

    1. That’s great you make the swaps. I agree it’s so easy and it leads to big results! This recipe, as well as my other butternut squash soup recipe, are both super yummy! Hope you enjoy!

  3. As a fellow RD I swap all the time. What’s really fun is swapping and having my husband taste it, THEN telling him what I did. Sometimes he knows. Ooops. 🙂 It’s worth trying. I think there’s a HUGE misconception that substituting healthier items in recipes doesn’t make it taste BAD or BLAND. It takes practice, I’ve flopped quite a few recipes before, but it takes practice! I’m making a butternut squash soup this weekend!

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I definitely agree it takes practice and it doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s such a great feeling knowing that you have a delicious meal that you were able to make healthier without sacrificing flavor! Hope your soup is delicious!!