My goal this winter is to fully embrace winter squash as a cold weather food friend, in a way that I haven’t in previous years. I love the idea of winter squash and I can get behind certain varieties in certain dishes and certain flavor profiles.
But I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite foods.
So in an effort to eat more seasonal produce, I’m trying to make friends with all the winter squashes.
If I’m honest, I’ve never actually liked acorn squash all that much. I’ve always found preparing them to be a herculean task that I’m unable to work out. I think I broke a vegetable peeler on the tough skin once. And what do you do with all the ridges?
Until this soup, I didn’t even bother.
But I was given two beautiful little acorn squashes straight out of the neighbor’s garden last weekend. They’ve been sitting on my counter since then, giving me all sorts of ideas about how I want to enjoy them.
Turns out, if you roast the squash first, you can just scoop the flesh out of the skins with a spoon. Problem solved.
And now with that conundrum addressed, this soup is how I want to enjoy every winter squash from here on out. It’s got a big, bold, spicy thai red curry flavor with squash, green apple, and onion all pureed into a creamy, coconut-y, satisfying, and tasty fall soup. I imagine it would be tasty with any other winter squash, as well.
And beyond tasting like something I want to eat straight out of the soup pot, it’s also remarkably healthy. It’s gluten free, vegan, and loaded with seasonal vegetables. I used light coconut milk and still found it to be delightfully thick and creamy, but would encourage you to follow your heart on this one.
You can also top it with any vegetables you like (or have on hand) but I’m telling you that the red cabbage comes highly recommended.
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1 large granny smith apple
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I use and highly recommend Mae Ploy brand)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cans lite coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
- Thinly sliced veggies for topping (I used red cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, green onions, and cilantro)
- Begin by cutting the acorn squash in half and scooping out the seeds and stringy flesh in the middle. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until mostly soft when poked with a sharp knife. You still want a little give. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skins.
- While the squash is baking, dice the onion and apple, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions or soft, stirring occasionally. Add the apple, red curry paste, and turmeric. Cook for another minute or so, stirring to evenly distribute the chili paste.
- Add the squash, broth, coconut milk, and salt, bringing the soup to a boil and then reducing to a low simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the apples and squash are soft enough to smash with the back of a spoon. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), blend the soup until it's uniformly creamy. Stir in the sambal oelek. Taste and adjust the salt.
- Serve topped with veggies of your choosing.