texas oncology more breakthroughs. more victories
Request an Appointment

Butternut Squash Soup: Reduce Your Risk of Cancer With This Cold Weather Classic

November 20, 2023

Is there anything better than a warm bowl of soup on a cold day?

Temperatures are starting to drop, which means it’s time to start making soups that are comforting, delicious, and — most importantly — nutritious.

Healthy eating is a key part of cancer prevention, and many of the foods already in your kitchen can be part of a well-rounded, cancer-fighting diet. The secret? Find recipes that make these ingredients the star of the show. See below for a scrumptious winter soup recipe that contains cancer-preventing ingredients like:

  • Butternut Squash: Who doesn’t love to incorporate seasonal ingredients in their cooking? According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, winter squashes like butternut contain a high amount of carotenoids that can reduce cancer risk. Carotenoids are converted to vitamin A in the body, and growing research suggests they can also help with maintaining vision, heart health, and immune function. Butternut squash is also rich in fiber, which supports digestive health and reduces risk of breast and colorectal cancer, according to several studies.
  • Shallots: Shallots are part of the allium genus that also includes onions, garlic, leeks, and chives. The consumption of allium vegetables is significantly associated with a decreased risk of cancer, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Almonds: Nuts have long been a staple in a healthy diet — and for good reason! They're chock-full of protein, fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals, and almonds in particular are packed with vitamin E. Overall, nuts support better metabolic health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and they are associated with a decreased risk of cancers of the colon, lung, and pancreas.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is undoubtedly the fall spice, and while it's not the biggest player in the cancer-preventing game, it does have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Research suggests cinnamon can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

This Butternut Squash Soup recipe is easy to make in large batches, which can be stored in the freezer for a quick, nutritious meal on the days you need it most.

Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out
  • 1 large shallot, diced (or ½ medium onion)
  • ½ cup almonds, soaked, drained, skinned (or blanched almonds)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sage
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place both halves skin side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Rub a small amount of avocado oil on each half, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Place a soup pot over medium heat with a splash of avocado oil. Once warm, add diced shallots. Allow to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add all seasonings, pepper, and salt. Sauté for 2 more minutes.
  4. Scoop out ¾ of the squash and add to soup pot, along with coconut milk and almonds. Mix well and allow to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Allow soup to slightly cool. Blend soup in blender in several batches or use an immersion blender until smooth. Add soup back into pot on low heat. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. Put the remaining ¼ roasted squash in a bowl. Break apart gently with a fork and stir into soup.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving: 327 calories, 29.2 g total fat (13.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 369 mg sodium, 15.9 g carbohydrates (3.5 g total sugars, 3.5 g dietary fiber), 4.9 g protein, 92 mg calcium, 4 mg iron, 499 mg potassium.


Click here to download the recipe card

This recipe was inspired by Julie Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, and Angela Dennison, RD, from Cancer Dietitian.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.