Knowing what herbs and spices go with butternut squash soup can be a challenge.
After all, butternut squash is such a unique and flavorful ingredient.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help!
I’ve rounded up 15 of the best herbs and spices to add to your next batch of butternut squash soup.
Whether you are looking for a traditional flavor or something more unique, there is sure to be something on this list that you’ll love.
So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these herbs and spices a try the next time you make butternut squash soup!
15 Best Herbs and Spices for Butternut Squash Soup
I take my soup seriously. I want it to be packed with flavor, but I also want it to be healthy.
That’s why I always make sure to include a variety of different herbs and spices in my butternut squash soup.
Here are 15 of the best herbs and spices for butternut squash soup:
Parsley has a clean and peppery flavor that can really brighten up a dish.
See Also: What to Serve with Curried Butternut Squash Soup: Best Sides
It is also an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
One great way to use parsley is to add it to a butternut squash soup.
The parsley will add a nice flavor to the soup without overwhelming the other flavors.
Here are some tips for using parsley:
- add it at the end of cooking so that its flavor is not lost
- use it as a garnish to brighten up a dish
- pair it with other strong flavors like garlic or ginger
Chives have a mild onion flavor (can be eaten raw or cooked) and are a great way to add some flavor to your butternut squash soup.
Here are some tips for using chives:
- Chop chives and sprinkle them on top of the soup as a garnish.
- Add chives to the soup while it is cooking.
- Make a pesto with chives, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese and use it as a soup topping or garnish.
- Chop chives and mix them into softened butter; spread on top of toast or crackers.
- Sauté chopped chives in olive oil and use as a pasta sauce or pizza topping.
Thyme dances between earthy and minty (and slightly woodsy) flavors and it is one of my personal favorite herbs to use in soups, stews, and sauces.
I love the way that thyme can really round out the flavors in a dish without being too overpowering.
A little goes a long way with this herb so start with just a pinch or two and then add more to taste.
Thyme also pairs well with other herbs like rosemary, oregano, and basil so feel free to mix and match until you find your perfect flavor combination.
As for butternut squash soup specifically, I would recommend adding some fresh thyme towards the end of cooking.
This will allow the thyme to really infuse its flavor into the soup without having it become too overwhelming.
Basil is a balance between sweet and savory (with hints of mint) and it is amazing in butternut squash soup.
I love the way that it brightens up the soup and makes it taste more complex than it actually is.
A few of my tips for using basil:
- If you’re using fresh basil, add it towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t lose its flavor.
- You can also freeze basil in ice cubes and then just add a cube or two to your soup (or any other dish) as needed.
- Dried basil works well too – just use about 1/3 of the amount called for in the recipe if you’re substituting dried for fresh.
Oregano is peppery and assertive (sometimes even bitter) with a lemony aroma.
A little goes a long way with this herb, so start slowly when adding it to your dishes.
It is often used in Italian and Greek cuisine, and pairs well with other strong flavors like garlic, onion, and tomato.
Oregano is also great for roasting vegetables or using in soups and stews.
My personal tips for using oregano:
- If you are using dried oregano, remember that it is more potent than fresh, so start with half the amount called for in the recipe.
- If you have fresh oregano available, strip the leaves from the stem before chopping or crushing them (this will release more of the flavor).
- Add oregano towards the end of cooking so that it doesn’t lose its flavor.
Rosemary is lemony-pine-like (and somewhat peppery) herb that works great in savory dishes.
Here are some tips for using rosemary:
- A little goes a long way; use sparingly at first and then add more to taste
- Rosemary pairs well with other strong flavors like garlic, thyme, and oregano
- Add rosemary towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t become too overwhelming
- Use fresh rosemary if you can; it has a much brighter flavor than dried
- Dried rosemary can be used, but it’s best to crush or grind it before adding it to your dish
So why not try adding a bit of rosemary to your next batch of butternut squash soup?
It’ll give the soup an extra zing that’ll have your taste buds tingling!
Marjoram has an earthy and woodsy taste (with notes of pine and citrus) that can really add a unique depth of flavor to your butternut squash soup.
Here are a few tips for using marjoram:
- Try adding it towards the end of cooking so that its flavor is not overwhelmed by other ingredients.
- A little goes a long way – start with just a pinch and add more to taste.
- If you’re using dried marjoram, be sure to crush it between your fingers before adding it to the soup so that its flavor is released.
8. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves have an almost minty flavor (with subtle hints of black pepper) that can really elevate a dish.
I personally love to add bay leaves to my butternut squash soup.
The bay leaves give the soup a bit of depth and complexity that takes it from good to great.
Here are some tips for using bay leaves:
- Always remove the bay leaf before serving, as they can be quite tough and chewy.
- If you’re using dried bay leaves, make sure to crush them up a bit before adding them to your dish, as this will help release their flavor.
- Bay leaves pair well with other strong flavors, such as garlic, onions, and meat (particularly lamb).
Dill has a bright, sweet taste (somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery) that can really elevate a dish.
It’s perfect in butternut squash soup!
Here are some tips for using dill:
- If you’re using fresh dill, add it at the end of cooking so it doesn’t lose its flavor.
- To bring out the flavor of dried dill, add it early on in the cooking process.
- Dill goes well with other herbs like parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
- When storing dill, wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in the fridge. This will help it stay fresh for up to a week.
Cloves are a pungent warm spice (with an intense taste and aroma) that can be used in sweet and savory dishes.
Cloves are often used in spice rubs, marinades, sauces, and soups.
Cloves can also be used to flavor tea, coffee, and cider.
When using cloves, a little goes a long way!
I would start by adding 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves to your soup and then taste it before adding more.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added.
Here are some of my personal tips for using cloves:
- To release the flavor of whole cloves, gently crush them with the side of your knife before adding them to your dish.
- If a recipe calls for “cloves,” this usually refers to ground cloves unless otherwise specified.
- When cooking with ground cloves, add them near the end of cooking so they don’t lose their flavor.
Paprika has a subtle earthiness, with a sweet and peppery flavor that can really add a lot to a dish.
When it comes to butternut squash soup, paprika can help to deepen the overall flavor and give the soup some added dimension.
I like to use smoked paprika for this particular soup, as it helps to give the soup a bit of smokiness without being too overwhelming.
Paprika is also a great way to add some color and brightness to the soup.
I typically add paprika towards the end of cooking, so that the flavors have time to meld together but the paprika doesn’t lose its potency.
A little goes a long way with this particular spice, so start with just a teaspoon or two and then adjust from there according to your taste preferences.
Sage has a strong, slightly minty (and musky) flavor that can really enhance the natural sweetness of butternut squash soup.
I like to use sage in this particular soup because it provides a nice depth of flavor without being too overwhelming.
A little sage goes a long way, so start with just a teaspoon or so and then adjust to taste.
Sage is also a great herb to use if you want to add some additional savory notes to your soup.
Try pairing sage with other complementary flavors like onions, garlic, and even some black pepper.
If you want to really take your butternut squash soup up a notch, try roasting your squash before adding it to the soup pot.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the squash and adds an extra layer of flavor that Sage compliments perfectly.
13. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds taste slightly nutty (and a lovely aroma when heated) and add a beautiful depth of flavor to any dish, in particular, butternut squash soup.
Here are some tips for using coriander seeds:
- Toast the seeds before adding them to your dish for maximum flavor. To toast, simply heat up a pan on medium heat and add the seeds. Stir until they are fragrant and slightly browned.
- Add the seeds near the end of cooking so they don’t lose their flavor.
- If you don’t have coriander seeds, you can use ground coriander instead. Just use half the amount called for in the recipe.
Allspice tastes like a mix of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg (hence the name ‘all’) and is commonly used in Jamaican dishes.
I love using allspice because it’s such a warm and comforting spice, perfect for the colder months.
Allspice is also really versatile – you can use it in sweet or savory dishes.
Some of my favorite ways to use allspice include:
- Adding a pinch to roasted vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes for an extra depth of flavor
- Mixing it into oatmeal or yogurt with some honey for a delicious and warming breakfast
- Stirring it into soup or chili for an extra kick of flavor
- Using it in baked goods like muffins, quick breads, or cookies
15. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is mostly hot and a little fruity, with a touch of smokiness.
It can be used to add heat to dishes, as well as flavor.
I personally love adding cayenne pepper to butternut squash soup because it takes an already creamy and sweet soup and gives it a bit of a kick.
Cayenne pepper is also great in other soups, stews, chili, curries, and even roasted vegetables.
Here are some tips for using cayenne pepper:
- Start with a small amount and increase as desired. Cayenne pepper can be quite spicy, so you don’t want to overdo it.
- If you’re sensitive to spice, try pairing cayenne pepper with something sweet like honey or maple syrup. This will help balance out the heat.
- Pair cayenne pepper with other bold flavors like garlic, ginger, or smoked paprika.
15 Best Herbs and Spices for Butternut Squash Soup
- Bay Leaves
- Coriander Seeds
- Cayenne Pepper
- Choose your favorite herbs or spices from this list to add to your soup recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your dish.
- Enjoy in no time…