Acorn Squash Soup with Brown Sugar Apple Bits

Acorn Squash Soup with Brown Sugar Apple Bits

After several months of unusual weather, Chicago has finally gotten its first snowfall, a signal that generally means many cold months and warm meals to come. A go-to no brainer meal for these freezing temperatures is soup, something that I inhale at least once a week during the coldest months of this frozen tundra I call home. Over the weekend I went to a lovely restaurant in Chicago called Gather, which served the yummiest acorn squash soup. Since then, I’ve been desperate to take a crack at my own version for a warming holiday treat.

 While winter is filled with many wonderful things, there’s a reason why gyms start to fill up in the winter and spring. I realize not everyone might see soup as a standalone meal, but for me, it cuts down on my heavy food cravings that tend to aid in packing on the pounds when temperatures drop. Plus soup is hearty, tasty, and can be healthy too.

These may be fighting words, but I’m not a huge fan of sweets so making a sweet dish is a little out of character for me. However, I took advantage of the season and included brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon for a more dessert-like acorn squash soup. As an added bonus, brown sugar apple bits are a delicious way to add a little extra crunch. Serve this entirely vegan dish as a main or a side and enjoy!

Acorn Squash Soup with Brown Sugar Apple Bits

(makes 3 servings)

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 green apple, diced into small cubes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp of coriander
  • 1 tsp of dried sage
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice acorn squash in half and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place both sides cut side down on a sheet pan and let cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove skin and seeds from the acorn squash and set aside.
  3. Slice shallot, garlic and ginger and cook on medium heat in a dutch oven with olive oil.
  4. Season with nutmeg, black pepper, salt, coriander, sage, cinnamon, and 3 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar. Stir until ingredients are soft and slightly translucent.
  5. Add in acorn squash, stirring to mix all ingredients and seasoning.
  6. Pour in coconut milk and vegetable broth. Let simmer for 15 minutes, allowing time for flavors to combine.
  7. Heat apple bits in a separate pan with remaining brown sugar and a dash of olive oil until slightly soft.
  8. Once acorn squash mixture has cooked, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
  9. Top with apple bits.

Enjoy!

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