Spicy Acorn Squash and Apple 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.

Makes: 8 servings

Roasting Squash


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


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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.

When the squash is cool enough to handle scoop it into a bowl and reserve. Warning: This part is kinda messy.



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)


In a dry skillet toast the pepitas for about 5 minutes or until they start to pop. Set aside to cool off and reserve.

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.

Add the broth, squash, and apple. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for about 20 minutes.

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.

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.

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.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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  1. Perfect receipes for these chilly fall days.

  2. My friend’s grandma once made this soup for me. In a bowl that looks exactly like this and all the works. She had a great restaurant here in Los ANgeles for a long time. Thanks for bringing back that memory.

    • Wow, I’m glad this brought back such a wonderful memory for you! I love how food has that power. I had a soup similar to this in a fancy restaurant and wanted to try and figure out how to recreate it. I’m thinking I added quite the added ingredients but am thrilled with the result.

  3. mmm.. quiero probar ! I agree it is perfect for these chilly fall days!

  4. Beautiful photos! I can just imagine the aromas on a cold winter’s day. I’m ready for that tamalada when you are!

    • Thank you Karen! I need to squeeze in a tamalada! We had an early tamalada this year in El Paso, before my sister moved to Germany. I’m so happy we were able to do that before she moved. I’m thinking I will host a tamalada in the New Year. Unfortunately we have too many prior commitments this holiday season.

  5. OMG! This looks so B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!! I would be kinda sad to eat it! But it looks so delicious and nutritious as well. Thanks for the fantastic idea of serving it like that. Will try the recipe soon 🙂

  6. delicious looking flavours wonderfully done

  7. Delicious recipe and great presentation! I think you’ll enjoy my spiced pumpkin soup recipe. Please check it out on my blog: http://bit.ly/spicedpumpksoup


  8. Hey Foodies, Yvette, Vangie and Veronica’s Soup recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Invite fans to play: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/557?source=blog

  9. What a gorgeous and delicious soup. Squash or pumpkin soups are my favorites, of course you have to add the chile 🙂 Definitely served inside pumpkins would be such a festive treat.

    P.S. Yvette, Thank you for your sweet comment 🙂 I’m glad to hear you are also part of the Gojee team, what great company to find myself in. Can’t wait to find your photos there too.

  10. Me encanta lo lindo que se ve servido en la calabaza! Muy buena receta.

  11. Not only is this stunning presentation but the soup looks amazingly delicious. Me encanta.

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