When summer comes screeching to a halt and fall rolls around, the world in which we live can sometimes seem like another world entirely. I am certainly not complaining as the changing of the seasons is one of the qualities I love most about the East Coast. As the days become shorter and the nights become longer, I find myself seeking comfort in all aspects of my day – I enjoy a piping hot coffee in the mornings and my thirst for an ice-cold afternoon smoothie or crisp sparkling water transforms into a cozy mug of tea. This is also true for meals – I begin to crave heartwarming soups over summery salads, and squash apple and kale soup with garlicky croutons is like a soup + salad + toasty bread all in one meal. A true star when it comes to cozy fall meals.
Squash apple and kale soup with garlicky croutons is layered with hearty acorn squash, sweet roasted apples, earthy roasted kale and crunchy sourdough croutons, all topped with crispy roasted squash seeds. Most of the elements for this soup are roasted in the oven then folded into a delicious savory autumnal dish.
for the soup
- 1 large squash (I used acorn, but butternut or pumpkin would work just as well!), halved, with the seeds reserved
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided
- 2 large apples (I used crimson crisp, but any sturdy kind will work), diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 cups kale leaves
- 3 cups vegetable stock
for the croutons
- 2 cups sourdough bread, cubed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can peel off the skin. Chop the peeled squash into
Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. On a baking sheet, arrange the kale and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Spread the apples on half of another baking sheet and spread the reserved squash seeds on the other half of the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Bake for 30 minutes until the apples are soft and the seeds are golden, tossing routinely.
Transfer the cooled squash and 2 cups vegetable stock to a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a large pot to heat.
Reusing the baking sheet from the kale, evenly spread out the bread cubes. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, the garlic powder and the smoked paprika. Bake until crisp and golden, around 15 minutes.
Spoon ¼ of the soup into a large bowl, and spoon ¼ of the apples, ¼ of the kale, ½ cup of the croutons, and ¼ of the seeds on top. Finish with a dusting of freshly cracked black pepper.