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. 

serves 4


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

soup steps

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.

crouton steps

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.

assembly steps

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. 

Squash — with its simplicity and heartiness — can brighten up any meal, especially in the winter months. And sautéed squash is both comforting and nutritious.

For this dish, I used yellow squash from the store and a kabocha squash that we grew in our garden, but the recipe works just as well with any kind of squash you can get your hands on. Reserving and roasting the squash seeds is a great way to add extra crunch + texture and use every part of the vegetable!

The fragrant spices in the sautéed squash and chickpeas pair beautifully with the cooling yogurt sauce, which adds a tangy flavor and protein. I use a microplane to grate the garlic and zest the lemon which ensures a fine, even texture.


for the squash and chickpeas

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 kabocha squash, peeled and sliced, with seeds reserved
  • 2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

for the yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the squash seeds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with ½ tablespoon kosher salt, ½ tablespoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon of aleppo pepper. Roast until crispy and golden, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, aleppo pepper, crushed red pepper, crushed juniper berries, and coriander seeds. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the first batch of squash, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook on one side for 6 minutes, flip, then cook for another 6 minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan and cook the next batch of squash until all the squash has been cooked. 

Remove all of the squash from the pan and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat until they begin to crisp, about 7 minutes.

While the chickpeas crisp up, make the yogurt sauce. Place the greek yogurt into a bowl and grate the garlic into it. Add salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ¼ cup parsley. Mix all the ingredients until they are evenly combined.

To serve, top the squash with roasted seeds, ½ cup chopped parsley for garnish, and dollops of yogurt sauce.