Squash season is in full swing, and that means a rotation of roasted butternut squash, Delicata and Kabocha. Recently, I noticed a new variety of squash that looks like a baby butternut. Honey nut squash is sweet and tender when cooked, and easier to cut than its big brother. A couple of these cuties are perfect roasted for honey nut squash soup or left whole and filled with chili for a hearty dinner.
Once the honey nut squash is roasted, it’s simple to scoop the flesh out and add to a simmering soup pot. And it’s easier than peeling and chopping a whole squash. Roasting also adds a deeper flavor and color to the soup. While I typically use a can of organic pumpkin purée for this recipe, you could also roast a small sugar pumpkin (cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, just like you prep the honey nut squash).
Change up this soup by playing with the stock base — try chicken bone broth or vegetable broth to keep things vegan. And finishing the soup with full fat coconut milk wouldn’t be a bad call. Use an immersion blender to puree and adjust the seasoning as needed with additional salt, fresh ground pepper or red pepper flakes. After ladling the soup into bowls, finish it off with a fine swirl of good quality extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of crunchy Maldon sea salt. You can also garnish with microgreens, chopped pecans or hazelnuts and black sesame seeds.
For a holiday dinner party or a refined Thanksgiving starter, hollow out sugar pumpkins and use them as bowls for this delicious soup. But don’t save this recipe just for special occasions, it’s honestly simple enough to serve for a wholesome weeknight meal.
This post was part of a virtual pumpkin party with a collaborative group of food bloggers; check out all the delicious pumpkin-based recipe links at the Virtual Pumpkin Party on the Cake over Steak blog.
Pumpkin, Apple and Honey Nut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 honey nut squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out (substitute 1 butternut squash if you can't find honey nut)
3 baby red potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
1 small 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste, about 1-2 teaspoons
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
On a roasting pan, place the honey nut squash cut side up with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Stir onion until translucent. Add carrot, apple and garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté about 1-2 minutes; be careful not to burn the garlic.
Scoop out the flesh of the roasted squash and add it to the soup pot along with the potato, pumpkin puree and broth. Cover and simmer the soup until vegetables are very tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Puree the soup with a handheld immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor, being careful not to scald yourself from the steam. Return the pot to the stove and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if necessary.
If the soup is too thick, add coconut milk or stock to loosen it. If you'd like, add a dash of Tabasco to punch up the flavor (this doesn’t make the soup spicy, it just enhances the flavors that are already there).