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Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

The ultimate healthy comfort food this fall and winter served in roasted acorn squash bowls is a delicious, feel-good dish that’s guaranteed to warm your heart and stomachs.  In the final countdown to Thanksgiving festivities consider serving the soup alongside your roasted turkey.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  1 hour 20 minutes

Yield:  12 – 16 cups

Serves:  6-8 Servings

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Ingredients

Soup:

  • 6 large acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • *Seeds reserved, rinsed and soaked in salt water
  • 5 tablespoons cocoonut oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 large red onion, rough chopped
  • 3 sweet apples, (such as Honey Crisp, Gala, or Fuji), peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 to 4 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Compote Garnish Ingredients::

  • ½ cup walnuts, crushed
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms
  • Sage leaves, garnish, optional
  • 2 tablespoons orange or chili oil

Directions

Heat oven to 400º F.

Slice squash in half and remove the seeds (reserve seeds in 1 cup water with 4 tablespoons salt) and drizzle the squash with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons maple syrup – rub with hands to distribute. Place squash on 2 rimmed baking sheets and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes more, or until squash is fork-tender and golden brown on the edges (baking time will vary based on size). 

Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining coconut oil, the red onion, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes or until onion is softened, then add the apple.  Cook until the apple starts to soften and turns a light brown, about 4 minutes.

Add the stock, remaining maple syrup, paprika, and chili powder and bring to a boil.  Then, reduce heat and cover cooking over low heat for 30 minutes, until the squash is ready in the oven.

Scrape the cooked squash meat carefully from 6 of the roasted acorn squash halves into a blender (reserving 6 halves for serving bowls) and then add the hot soup in batches in a blender.  Puree until smooth.

Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and simmer over low heat while whisking in cream.  Add cream to soup adjusting the consistency as you prefer; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

While soup finishes cooking drain reserved squash seeds and spread over a cookie sheet and spray with cooking oil.  Roast on middle rack at 400°F for 12 minutes or until toasted.

Finally, make shiitake mushroom walnut compote to serve as a topping for soup.  In a small pot heat walnuts, cranberries, orange juice, and honey on high until boiling.  Reduce heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Turn heat off and reserve for garnish.

In a medium sauté pan lightly sprayed with oil sauté mushrooms on medium heat until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add walnut mixture to mushrooms and cook until warmed through.  Add toasted roasted seeds.

Serve warm with mushroom walnut compote, roasted acorn squash seeds, sage leaves, and drizzle a ½ teaspoon of chili oil or orange oil over the soup.

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