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
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.