Vegan Winter Squash Soup with Apples and Ginger

IMG_11471 large winter squash; halved and seeds removed (I used buttercup)
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion; chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 carrots; chopped
2 celery stalks; chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger; peeled and minced
1 small clove garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 apples; cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
5 cups water (add more for consistency)
salt and pepper to taste
ground nutmeg to garnish
ground cinnamon to garnish

Preheat oven to 375° F. Oil a baking sheet/pan. Prepare winter squash, place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake till soft, about 45 minutes. Test for tenderness by pressing with a sturdy wooden spoon, when it gives the squash is done. When the baked squash has cooled enough to handle scrape out the squash from the skins with a spoon.

Preheat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil and onion, sprinkle with salt and saute with lid on for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to prevent burning. Add carrots and celery, stir and continue to saute an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute an additional minute then add spices and 1/2 cup water, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add apples, baked squash and enough water to cover all the vegetables with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Puree the ingredients with a handheld immersion blender OR allow to cool, puree in countertop blender, return to pot and reheat. Add more water as needed for the consistency and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon if desired.

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