2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened apple cider
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups organic low-sodium vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Desired protein option (cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or high protein cheese)
3 12-ounce packages frozen squash purée. (You can make your own purée by baking 3 acorn squashes, halved and seeded, at 400°F until soft. When cool enough to touch, spoon the flesh into a food processor. Process until smooth.)
In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and lightly browned. Add the apples and cider and cook until the apples soften. Add the ginger, cinnamon and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the squash purée and cook until heated through about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Use a hand blender to purée the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into four bowls and serve each topped with 3/4 cup ricotta low fat Tre Selle cheese, 1/4 cup pressed organic cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons plain Greek Yogurt or 2 one-inch cubes of a high protein cheese (such as Allégro 4%, Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheese or Low Fat Jarlsberg). This soup may be kept in the fridge for 3 days or frozen in an airtight glass container for up to 1 month.