It’s finally time for the third and final hors d’oeuvre: spiced kabocha squash and apple soup. This hors d’oeuvre can be served as shooters, in cups for a full appetizer, as a side or even as a main course. Not only is it versatile in the way it can be served, but it is also gluten-free and Paleo! Even though the soup is already tasty on its own, top it with caramel popcorn for an interesting twist.
- 2 1/2 lb kabocha squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper
- apple cider caramel popcorn (optional)
- peeled and chopped apple for garnish (optional)
- toasted, chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place kabocha squash on baking sheet and roast for 1 hour or until it can easily be pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and cut in half. Remove the seeds and discard. Let cool slightly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, scraping as close to the skin as possible.
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped apples and saute until softened. Remove from heat.
- Place kabocha squash, apples, and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour soup into a medium pot and heat until hot. Garnish with popcorn or chopped apples with toasted walnuts. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
As mentioned before, this kabocha squash and apple soup is incredibly versatile. I started with a basic kabocha squash soup and decided to kick it up a notch by adding apples, spices, and coconut milk.
You can substitute the squash for butternut squash or acorn squash but I personally prefer kabocha because it is sweeter than the other two. Roasting the squash allows it to become even sweeter as it caramelizes in the oven. You can also roast the apple, but sauteing it also works just fine.
Using coconut milk adds a creamy texture to the soup while giving it a tropical edge; however, you can use heavy cream instead. Many recipes call for chicken broth in kabocha squash soups, but there is enough flavor from the ingredients that I prefer to use water instead.
As for the garnish, you can be adventurous and make apple cider caramel popcorn or if you prefer a less sweet soup, top it with fresh apples or toasted walnuts. Either way, the soup is tasty! The spiced kabocha squash and apple soup is smooth and silky with a nice crunch from the garnish. It’s sweet and tart with a kick and has a great hint of coconut. A well rounded soup that can be consumed for any course!