This savory/sweet squash soup with Maple Balsamic Vinegar and fall spices is a healthy meal that can easily be made vegan or vegetarian. It’s simple enough for a weeknight, but also makes a beautiful addition to a holiday table and can be prepared ahead of time then simply reheated before serving. This soup also makes a lovely appetizer when served in small punch glasses or ramekins.
We love to make this with sugar pumpkins (those small ones that you walk past in the grocery store and think “how cute!” but never actually to cook with!), butternut squash, or even sweet potatoes. It can also handle a slew of different toppings to customize it. Try cubes of bacon or pancetta, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, goat cheese crumbles, cilantro, parsley, avocado, and more. We also love to drizzle a balsamic reduction, creme fraiche/plain yogurt/sour cream, and our favorite olive oil (like Chipotle, Blood Orange, or Rosemary). Some of our favorite combinations are:
pancetta + creme fraiche + balsamic reduction + parsley
pomegranate seeds + pepitas + goat cheese + balsamic reduction
avocado + sour cream + cilantro + Chipotle Olive Oil
bacon + pumpkin seeds + avocado
To roast pumpkins or squash, poke holes in them using a fork or knife then microwave for 3 minutes. Cut in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Coat the inside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side-down on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, until squash is very soft and can be scooped out of the skins.
1/2 cup Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk (can substitute a non-dairy milk like almond or soy, or use cow’s milk, but you may need to increase the amount of sugar)
1.5 cups water, vegetable, or chicken stock
4 cups of roasted squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato
salt & pepper
optional toppings: bacon or pancetta, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, goat cheese crumbles, cilantro, parsley, avocado, balsamic reduction, creme fraiche/plain yogurt/sour cream, olive oil
Make a balsamic reduction by heating the Maple Balsamic Vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until balsamic is reduced in half, about 3-5 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn!
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Stir well for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant, to allow spices to bloom. Add the brown sugar, coconut milk, water, and 1.5 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar reduction. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the squash and stir well to combine. Turn off the heat.
Use an immersion blender or a blender to puree soup. If using a blender, let soup cool down before blending. Add more water, stock, or coconut milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper. Depending on how sweet your squash is, you may want to add more sugar as well.
Serve warm with whatever toppings you choose!