Squash (or Pumpkin) Soup Recipe. With Caramelized Toppings.

Creamy squash soup (that you can also make with squash) topped with candied bacon, pumpkin seeds and crispy sage leaves fried in brown butter.  A perfect, cozy fall meal. Just add a hearty bread!

Rustic squash soup with caramelized topping of bacon and pumpkin seeds in a classic white soup bowl on wood table with scattered autumn leaves in the background.

Jump to Recipe

I swear to you no one has a more difficult time writing posts about soup than me. I get soup block.

Which doesn’t really make much sense since I love soup so much. If someone were to come up to me in the grocery store and ask me my thoughts on soup I could probably go on for the entire duration of their grocery shop, hop in the car with them, go get gas, pick the kids up from school, help put the groceries away, make dinner, watch a little tv, hop into bed with them and still have many more things to say about soup.

But writing a post on soup? I got nothin’. Nothing more eloquent than … I like soup. Soup is good.  Now that we have that eloquent writing out of the way onto the soup.

The premise of this recipe is simple.  Cut up all of your ingredients and put them on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.

Squash, onions and garlic, sprinkled with cinnamon and other spices on a baking sheet.


Roast them in the oven until … roasted.

Roasted squash, onions and apples straight from the oven.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a pot of broth, simmer and blend.

But the best, the very BEST part of this soup is the crispy bacon and pumpkin seeds caramelized in brown sugar.  WITH butter fried sage leaves. 

Without the garnish this soup is just your basic wildly, incredible soup.  WITH the garnish it’s a one way ticket to restaurant quality euphoria.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup is perfect for fall and winter. Every smooth, warm spoonful topped with the crunch of maple pumpkin seeds, bacon and sage.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 412kcal
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 2.5 pounds of sweet squash kabocha, delicata, butternut or acorn
  • 1 onion peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 Granny Smith apple cored and cut into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves whole and unpeeled
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bunch sage leaves
  • 3 slices of bacon cut into batons width wise
  • each "baton" is width of bacon x slightly less than 1/4"
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 f (180 c)
  • Put squash, onion, apple, garlic cloves onto roasting pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, a generals dosing of salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven until vegetables are cooked and soft. Approximately 30 minutes)
  • Once cool enough to handle, remove squash from skin and squeeze out garlic.
  • Add everything to a soup pot with 6 cups of chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Puree in blender or with stick blender. Add brown sugar to taste. Add more broth if needed to thin soup and reheat.
  • Heat 2-3 Tbsps olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Add sage leaves and fry until crispy but not darkened. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Add bacon batons to pan and fry until golden brown and starting to get crispy. Add pumpkin seeds and cook another minute or two.
  • Add brown sugar and continue to stir until brown sugar has melted and caramelized over bacon and seeds.
  • Serve soup in bowls and top with a tablespoon of bacon and pumpkin seed mixture, and one or two fried sage leaves.


Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 1490mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 30160IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 4mg

It’s an easy, easy recipe that has HUGE taste.  Which is exactly how I like my soups.  Just ask me in the grocery store.  I’ll tell you all about it.


  1. Ei Conklin says:

    Is the ‘generals’ dosing of salt and pepper more the the ‘colonels’ dosing? ? (Gotta love autocorrect!)

  2. Rina says:

    Karen: Just a quick question about the pumpkin soup. Do you puree the soup with the squash peel and all. Thank you.

  3. Mary W says:

    YEA! I found my old pumpkin pie recipe – lost it several years ago and no other has been as good but I see you have it and now I’m a happy camper. Pumpkin pie is my favorite. But I haven’t tried your soup yet so will have to wait until I cook it this weekend. Sounds delicious. So glad I read the comments so I knew to get shelled seeds. Always love reading your comments, even this old.

  4. Gretchen says:

    It was a rainy gloomy day today, so soup was called for. The soup was delicious! But the topping was sooooooo good. Perhaps bacon pepita granola would work?

  5. NikiDee says:

    Wanted to let you know that I couldn’t wait to make this soup! Went to our local farmers market yesterday and bought appropriate squashes (I mixed acorn and butternut). Made the soup today. As a matter of fact my hubby is finishing his bowl as I type. Fabulous! Only change I made was to add a 1/4 dry white wine (cuz I rarely cook anything without wine). This recipe is a keeper!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent. Glad you liked it. Of course I have to know if you made the topping. ~ karen!

      • NikiDee says:

        Yes! Well….kinda…. I’m just not a rule follower so it would’ve been highly irregular for me to follow the recipe (or anything in life) exactly as written (or told). I didn’t have pepitas. I contemplated getting them but it’s a 45 minute drive one way and I just couldn’t see the real need for a drive (there are days I would jump in the car and drive for a box of raisins) but yesterday wasn’t the day. I browned the bacon (cut precisely as you said -shock – perfect size!) and added the brown sugar but I didn’t think it was “caramelly” enough so I added 100% Canadian Maple syrup, because there is no other kind to use, in my book. I happened to have fresh sage so that got a fry up too. I have enough for another bowl a piece tonight and have decided to make a large batch this weekend and can it. Yup. It was that good!

  6. Shauna says:

    A friend at work just said to me, “oh, I saw butternut squash at the market. I”m going to bring it in so you can make soup.” To most people, this would be weird. But, not to me. I am the maker of things around here. Now, she can bring it in and I will have a recipe to follow even:)

  7. Laura Bee says:

    I can make the topping, but the roasted veg won’t make it to the soup pot if I make it. I’ll have to ask hubby. He is a much better cook than I am anyways and makes amazing soup.

  8. Janet says:

    I just made it with a butternut sqush and it was fabulous! I love it when I see a great recipe and already have the ingredients
    I have a miserable cold so I may have over-peppered it a little (test will be when my kids try it), but I had a bowl for lunch and feel better already.
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Agnes says:

    Hey Karen,

    Do you have any recipes involving pie pumpkins? I have 2 that have been sitting on my pantry shelf for a few weeks now….just staring at me…wanting to be cooked into something delicious.

    I could just google something, but I know I can trust your recipes! Any recommendations?

    Also, I agree with you, soup is good. Nuff said :)

    • Karen says:

      Agnes – WEll you could make my pumpkin pie recipe which is delicious! Or you could try making this soup with pie pumpkins. I’m really to know how it would be. You can also just roast the pumpkin in the oven and serve it how you would normally serve squash. I personally would add a tiny bit of brown sugar or maple syrup, salt, pepper and fresh minced ginger. (instructions on how to roast pumpkin in my pie post) :) ~ karen!

  10. Sera says:

    My mouth is watering! I’m definitely making this this weekend!

  11. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    What beautiful pics..I will have to stop myself from just eating the roasted veggies..One question..do you use fresh seeds or packaged seeds?? This is going to be an awesome meal this weekend!

  12. Feral Turtle says:

    Yummy. I just made a squash soup using buttercup squash. So good. I will have to give this recipe a go.

  13. Julie says:

    Hi Karen

    This soup looks great…I will definitely try it…but…can I just buy pumpkin seeds? I would assume yes, since no one else has asked…

    • Karen says:

      You mean for the topping? Yes. Absolutely. They’re often labelled pepitas in stores. They have no shell and are small and green. ~ karen!

      • Sera says:

        But correct me if I’m wrong, the squash you just roasted has seeds. Won’t that work?

        • Karen says:

          It does, but there actually aren’t enough seeds in the squash for what you need for the recipe. Also, removing pumpkin/squash seeds from their shells is a HUGE pain. (you just use the interior seed, not the whole shell and seed) ~ karen!

        • Sera says:

          Noted. Thanks Karen! I usually have pepitas on hand anyway. I just love them on top of… Everything.

        • Karen says:

          Me TOO! They’re my favourite thing to put in a salad this time of year! ~ karen

    • Bre Quantrill says:

      You can also find them at Bulk Barn stores. In shell, or out, salted or not. I like the shelled, roasted, salted; easy to scoff down by the handful. Or top off a soup, of course. And I love this recipe. Must try!

  14. Marion says:

    This sounds amazing! I could eat soup anytime of the year (100º outside, why yes I’d love a bowl of simmering hot soup). My hubby on the other hand, believes soup is only for days when it’s below 55º, or when you’re sick. Thankfully we have cold weather (and no sickness) so this is going on my menu for next week!

  15. Barbie says:

    I like soup too…..I think soup is good too! LOL

    I always use Hubbard squash ….grow it in my garden!

    Great post Karen!

  16. christine says:

    Yummmm. I used to make terrible soup then discovered that those tetra pak broths (like Pacific), either chicken broth or veggie or even mushroom broth. Now I make good soup. :) Anyway, I am trying this one for sure. Thanks.

  17. Marti says:

    About time! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this recipe for-EVUH! And unbelievably… I have everything to make this in my kitchen right now… except the sage leaves. Are they an “absolute,” too?

    It was so good that I went to see about the sage leaves, because I discovered the piece of cooked salmon waiting on the top shelf of the fridge for the last several days. Or as I’m going to call it… fish jerky. Bleh! Bad things happen in my fridge….

    • Karen says:

      Sage leaf isn’t mandatory but every little thing you do makes it better and better. It adds a unique flavour. ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        After the fish jerky, I’m not sure I need more “unique flavors.” But I will be making this soup, probably tonight. :) Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Ana Rocadas says:

    Could this soup come out as tasty with actual pumpkin? A sugar pumpkin perhaps?

  19. Ann says:

    This soup is very similar to one I make. Except for the topping. That sounds amazing. But I do very limited carbs so I would have to adapt the topping just a little. My taste for sweet has changed a lot since going this direction, so I could probably make it with about 1/4 the sugar and still think it is plenty and that would lower the carb value considerably.

  20. Ev says:

    Copied your recipe into my vast list. Now I have to find out what bacon batons are!

  21. Mary Kay says:

    This looks really yummy – but what is a bacon baton??

  22. Judy Beeksma says:

    All that I can say from one soup lover to another is “WOW!” My mouth was watering when looking at the pictures and those roasted vegetables are a thing of beauty!

  23. Jody says:

    Looks like a great recipe but…….what the heck is a bacon baton. Is that basically cut the bacon into little squares?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jody – I’ve revised the recipe to explain. It’s like a matchstick but slightly wider. Cut bacon across the width into appx. 1/4″ pieces. Slightly less actually. ~ karen!

  24. Darin says:

    Quick Question– Do you add the 2 Heaping Tablespoons of brown sugar onto the squash before roasting? I’m assuming yes, to help it caramelize….but doesn’t mention in directions…I am also a “lova’ of soup!” I’ve been on the chili kick here….but can’t wait to make~ I’ve been making pumpkin cookies also- my4 year old was amazed you can roast a pumpkin and make cookies with it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Darin – Sorry for the confusion. The brown sugar goes into the soup once it’s blended. I’ll fix the recipe right now. ~ karen!

  25. Tigersmom says:

    Good for you for hiding the topping so you could have it for later. Privilege of hosting, I say. I’m afraid if I made it, it would never make it onto the soup. I’d just scarf it right down standing over the pan.

    And there is that lovely marble again and I recognize the wood, too, I think. Although, I’m tired of my suspicions being wrong, so I will bite my tongue until it bleeds on this one.


  26. magali says:

    in my household, we love pumpkin so much that every fall we fear we may actually turn into pumpkins. It actually all started when I made your pumpkin pie recipe for the first time (following the real vs canned pumpkin post). Now we’re unstoppable. Yesterday we ate pumpkin quinoa salad for supper and had pumpkin layered cake for desert (all made with real pumpkin of course). And as I write this I am drinking pumpkin chai tea. But the best thing we make? Pumpkin risotto!

  27. RosieW says:

    Karen, a question re terminology: what size is a bacon baton? In my neck of the woods, a baton is something a cute girl twirls at a football game.

    I love the idea of this topping. Would be great on a white bean soup also.

    • Karen says:

      Hi RosieW – Just cut the bacon across the grain (so across the width) so you have strips that are slightly less than 1/4″. ~ karen!

  28. Maureen says:

    Your opening photo is beautiful! I’m a soup lover and pinning this baby.

  29. Susan Preston says:

    Yummy! I make roasted butternut squash soup for the store all the time and it just happens to be the all time favourite soup especially at this time of year! Those cartelized seed things sound fabulous though. Now I can hardly go to sleep. I want to go to work now and make them for the topping! Yummy!

  30. Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project says:

    YUM! I’m definitely going to try this recipe! The soup sounds awesome, but that garnish – I may just make the garnish on its own and eat it like popcorn…or ON popcorn. Oh the possibilities…
    Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Karen says:

      I know. At Thanksgiving I had to hide the garnish after the soup was served so I would be sure to have some for the next day for my leftover soup. People were eating it by the spoonful. And by people I mean my piggy relatives. ~ karen!

  31. Liz says:

    An example of cultural differences – I never knew that squash was a pumpkin! Go Australia, though master chef here is considered a little staged… Don’t you guys have pumpkin in a can?

  32. amy o'brien says:

    i am going to make this so hard. cannot wait!!!!

  33. LindsayH says:

    I love the look of this soup. What I love even more are your baking sheets. They look well used and exactly like mine ( a little worn around the edges).

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