Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Soup

beet & sweet potato soup 2

It hardly feels as if we’ve had winter this year – sorry if you live somewhere where it does, with blizzards and sleet and such – but I actually love the winter, sticky snow and sleet and all. The coziness of it, the open invitation to hibernate, the lack of pressure to get out and do something while it’s nice out. Not that I’m complaining about the sunny days either – people have been hanging out on patios on the regular – it just feels weird.

February is normally soup month, and root vegetables and winter squash. And now suddenly it’s March! And this brilliant red soup – made so by the combination of orange squash (or sweet potato) and purply beets – is bright and citrusy with orange juice, or a bit earthier without. That’s the beauty of soup – you can toss whatever it is that needs cooking into your pot without much need for precision.

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I like to roast beets by the batch, each trimmed and wrapped in foil, then set directly on the oven rack for an hour or so, until they’re tender – you can do a lot with a roasted beet, from slicing them into a salad to pickling them or sautéing them in a hot pan with some butter and a drizzle of honey – and they’ll keep, wrapped in their foil packets (put them into a bowl in case there are drips) for up to a week, until you need them.

A splash of cream or spoonful of yogurt will make this a paler pink – a bonus, if you have kids who like their food to be a certain shade of something. It’s also beautiful served topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of chives; if you like, draw the tip of a bamboo skewer through each blob to make a heart.

Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Soup


March 4, 2016


1 butternut squash (or sweet potato), peeled, seeded and diced

canola or olive oil, for cooking

2-3 beets, trimmed

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup orange juice

1 L chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 cup half & half (optional)

sour cream, for serving (optional)


1Preheat the oven to 450F. Spread the squash out on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Wrap the beets individually in foil. Place the sheet in the oven and the beets directly on the rack; roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft and turning golden on the edges. Leave the beets in for another 30 minutes. (This can be done ahead of time; stash them in the fridge until you need them.)

2Meanwhile, in a medium pot heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and roasted squash. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel and chop the beets; add to the pot along with the orange juice and stock and simmer for about 30 minutes.

3Add the half & half, season with salt and pepper to taste and puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (or in batches in your regular blender) until smooth. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream. Serves 6.


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11 comments on “Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Soup

  1. Sue V
    March 6, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Great timing Julie! My grocery store has 10lb bags of beets for $1.88 this week so I’ll double the recipe and put some in the freezer. I’ve made this soup before. It’s one of my favourites. The flavour is amazing and I think the colour of the soup makes it even more tasty!

  2. Heidi M
    March 6, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Is this your Lipstick Soup? Loved it then … will make it again.

  3. Annie Csak
    September 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I must confess, I take the easy route for cooking Beets – stove top – pan of water – 40 minutes, cool and peel. Is the oven method nutritionally more beneficial?
    We love Beets in any form.

    • Julie
      September 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      I suppose by roasting you wouldn’t lose any nutrients to the cooking water – but whatever works for you!

  4. Alicen
    January 19, 2017 at 5:23 am

    I have been making a weekly batch of winter vegetable soup (squash, carrot, parsnip) lately. This combination looks perfect for Sunday’s soup since I have exactly 3 beets nearing the end of their useful life in my fridge 🙂

    • Julie
      January 23, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Ha – good timing!

  5. Roselle
    November 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Hello, I’m from the UK, could you let me know what half and half is? I’m assuming milk but don’t want to assume! Many thanks

    • Paul
      December 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Half and half is the same as light cream (10%MF)

      • Julie
        December 3, 2018 at 7:40 am

        Sorry, yes!

    • Julie
      December 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      It’s 10% cream… maybe single cream there?

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