Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing, football is on, and the weather is cool. But the best part by far is the fall harvest and the seasonal produce available this time of year.
Right now we have an abundance of winter squashes from the farm share. Kabochas, acorns, butternuts, delicatas, not to mention pumpkins and spaghetti squashes. Not only do these hearty vegetables look beautiful on display in your kitchen or dining room but can last through the winter without spoiling (hence the name winter squashes). Winter squashes are very high in Vitamin A, and also provide a decent amount of fiber and Vitamin C, which is essential to immune function. Winter squashes are so versatile: you can roast them with salt and pepper, stuff them, toss them in pasta, use them in pies, and roast the seeds. But my favorite way to use them, and a seasonally appropriate way, is in soups. I love making soups because you can make them ahead of time, so they are a great choice if you are having company over for dinner.
I used a kabocha squash for this recipe, but I have also made it using butternut squash. Both are great!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a very sharp knife, cut kabocha squash in half from stem to bottom. Scoop out seeds and guts from cavity. Brush melted coconut oil on to flesh and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down in a glass baking dish. Chop up the apples into chunks (quarters will work) and add apples to glass baking dish. Place in oven and roast for 45-55 minutes or until squash is soft.
Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool before you handle it. While you are waiting for it to cool (now is also a good time to make the prosciutto if you are using it--see instructions below), slice the onion. In a soup pot, add the rest of the coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until caramelized.
After the squash is cool, scoop out all the orange flesh and add it to the pot with the onions. Discard the skin. Add the coconut milk and 2 cups of broth of choice. Use an immersion blender to blend all the contents together until smooth (you could also use a Vitamix or a blender but I just love my immersion blender for this type of thing). Add salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind if you are using prosciutto for garnish it is going to add some salt flavor).
Serve in a bowl with crumbled prosciutto and/or diced green onions or chives. I also like to serve these with the best crackers ever, Primal Palate's Herb Crackers.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 3 pieces of prosciutto on baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool and crumble the prosciutto into each bowl of soup.
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