By Joanne Bruno | September 19, 2011

Photo: Joanne Bruno

This was the first year in the history of my life that I didn’t want summer to end.  Whereas normally, I wait until exactly one minute after midnight on Labor Day to rush out to the store to purchase my first winter squash, this year I found myself holding onto tomatoes, zucchini, and corn for dear life.

Then all of a sudden there was a day last week that went from smoldering to frigid over the course of a few hours. It ripped summer right out from under my feet and sent me falling straight into the arms of a kabocha squash (not entirely unwillingly, of course, but still- it was jarring.), with this soup being the result.  Full of fall’s best flavors, it is warm and comforting, sweet and spicy, and just what you need to help make the transition between seasons as painless and delicious as possible.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Adapted from Vegetarian Times September 2011

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others.  Joanne is also training for her third marathon with Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For more information or to make a donation, check out her fundraising website.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, and Spelt Berry Soup Recipe

Servings: 4


  • 1 medium winter squash, seeded and chopped (I used kabocha squash)
  • 3 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into large dice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup spelt berries, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 6 cups water
  • salt, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash on one and apples on another. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Roast squash 32-36 minutes or until tender and browned on bottoms. Roast apples 22-24 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion. Season with salt. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until onions are shrunken, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add spelt berries and 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat medium-low and cook 45 minutes or until spelt berries are tender. Stir in squash and apples and remove from heat. Stir in 1 tbsp mint and lemon zest. Serve sprinkled with remaining mint.

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