Spicy Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

squash pumpkin winter soup

My husband said this soup is sophisticated and my friend Michelle said it was comforting. I couldn’t have said it better myself — It truly is both! The smell of the roasted squash and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in our home was wonderful. This soup makes a wonderful first course for entertaining and would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Serve it in pumpkins and your guests will really be talking.

It’s spicy, but not too spicy. The next time I make it I plan to double the amount of chile, but that’s just me. This soup experiment turned out to be silky smooth in texture with spicy warm flavors, exactly what I was craving. Add some crusty bread and it’s very satisfying.

Spicy Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

This soup makes a wonderful first course for entertaining and would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Serve it in pumpkins and your guests will really be talking.

Ingredients:

Roasting Squash:

  • 2 quartered acorn or other small winter squash
  • 1 stick, unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Soup:

  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped leek (white part only)
  • ½ chopped white onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pasilla or ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces
  • 1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
  • Water (depending on desired thickness)
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored, and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 cup crema Mexicana for garnish (optional)
  • Paprika powder for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Roasting Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Carefully cut each squash into quarters. Slice a piece of butter and place on each piece of squash, sprinkle with salt, and place on a foil lined baking sheet skin sides down. Roast for one hour or until the squash is tender.
  3. When the squash is cool enough to handle scoop it into a bowl and reserve. Warning: This part is kinda messy.

Soup:

  1. In a dry skillet toast the pepitas for about 5 minutes or until they start to pop. Set aside to cool off and reserve.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a caldero (soup pot) over medium heat. Add the leek, onion, celery, ginger, garlic, and chile pieces. Stir frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, squash, and apple. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you desire. Bring up to a simmer again and season the soup as needed with salt, pepper, and orange peel.
  5. If you chose to serve this soup in pumpkins like I did, wash the pumpkins with water, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Carve a lid off the top and remove the seeds from inside. I broiled my pumpkins for 5 to 10 minutes while the soup was simmering, but this step is not necessary.
  6. Place each pumpkin onto a plate and fill them with soup topped with a dollop of crema, a sprinkle of paprika, and pepitas if desired.

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

Subscribe to Muy Bueno to get new recipes in your inbox and stay in touch on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston