Meat Soups

Mexican Acorn Squash Soup with Smoky Chicken and Spicy Seeds

Though this is a multi-step, multi-component dish, I would like to say it’s also multi-tasty. Make all of the components–or just some of them, either way you’ll be feasting on a mouth load of flavor.


For the Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 2 T olive oil
  • s&p

For the Soup

  • 2 small acorn squash (scoop out and save the seeds)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 c salsa, homemade or store bought
  • 1 qt chicken/beef/vegetable stock

For the Seeds

  • reserved seeds from acorn squash, cleaned and dried
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lime


Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In an oven safe baking dish, toss the chicken thighs with all the ingredients. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once cool, pull the chicken into rough strips with your hands or dice/chop with a knife.

In the meantime…

Use a peeler to peel the skin off the acorn squash and remove the seeds. Chop into medium-sized chunks. In a large soup pot, saute the squash pieces, onion and garlic until soft. Add the stock and salsa. Bring to a simmer. Use an immersion blender (an absolutely necessary tool for the serious cook), or a regular blender to puree the soup.

For the seeds

On a baking sheet, toss all the ingredients together and use your hands to mix everything together. Spread the seeds out as evenly as you can get them and bake until you can hear them poppin’, about 14 minutes.

Serve with slices of avocado and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.

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  • Reply
    October 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I am not typically a 100% paleo eater and eat the Zone more frequently with no bread. I look to paleo recipes sometimes for the natural lower carb quality in many cases. I tried this recipe for the first time today and it is fantastic and very filling. The recipe when divided into four servings based upon 4 oz of chicken per serving, works out to be approximately a 4 block protein and 2.5 to 3 block carb with plenty of good fats. I used rotisserie chicken to make it faster and more convenient. Great stuff.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Glad you liked it and thanks for the analysis. That may be handy for other folks.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I made this tonight. It was quite tasty. I will be making this again.

  • Reply
    FRIDAY 10.10.29 « The Foodee Project
    October 29, 2010 at 2:48 am

    […] 28, 2010 by The Foodee Mexican Acorn Squash Soup Health […]

  • Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Made this last night and it turned out pretty well. Used a half a rotisserie chicken, which cut the time down even more. Didn’t know the temp for the oven, but I put the seeds in at 350 degrees and they popped in about 10 min. Another good recipe for the cold weather.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      December 3, 2010 at 10:27 am

      oops. sorry about that–will fix the oven temp. thanks shawn!

  • Reply
    Ryan Eddy
    March 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I made this last night. This was so good. So so so good. I had to use a blender which was a little messy at first, but I figured out a good system and then blended the living daylights out of it. The final product was smooth and velvety and we thought we were eating some gourmet bisque.

    The chicken and avocado really make a nice balance with the additional protein and fat, but honestly, if you’re not worried about balance this soup would stand on its own quite well.

    The recipe quantities are perfect. We had dinner and now we have left overs. <3

    I added some cumin and chili powder 😀 Next time, I might throw a couple jalapeños in there.

    I'd love to see more soups from you guys.

    Thank you! <3

  • Reply
    Jill Rabach
    January 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Saw this recipe posted to FB, got up from my desk and made it right then and there… what a great soup for a cold day. I added cumin at the end to round out the salsa flavor– will add it while sauteing the squash in the future. 1/4 tsp made all the difference.

  • Reply
    coco plum
    January 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    i made this for dinner and posted it on my blog. Delish as always. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Made this yesterday – and enjoying again right now… and just have to say, ALL of your recipes and tips are fantastic!!! Hubs can’t believe he likes anything to do with squash… but this soup and your BS lasagna are two of both of our top recent favorite meals. Thank you!! (p.s. I added 1/4 tsp. cumin at the end of saute like others – I think it’s a good addition.)

  • Reply
    April 8, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Made this with peppers & onion turkey sausage, HOT salsa (by accident, lol), and cumin & lemon juice for the seeds. FANTASTIC!!! I love your recipes so much!!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah B.
    December 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I have to tell you, I HATE squash soup. Hate it. I’ve had butternut squash soup and pumpkin soup several times and it’s always just gross. But, I’ve been searching through a few paleo/whole foods/gluten free websites in the past few months (gluten intolerant husband + wife with pregnancy lbs to lose = new paleo diet!), and a whole bunch of them have listed this recipe as one of their top favorite all time paleo dishes. I couldn’t believe it, but I finally decided to try it. It is AMAZING! This is seriously the most delicious soup I’ve ever had! And it wasn’t hard to make at all. This is going on my short list of go-to winter recipes. Thanks!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I really liked this soup and will definitely be making it again!

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