In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, garlic and apple. Sauté for 5 minutes or until mixture is very fragrant.
Pour in the pumpkin puree, optional hard cider, dried thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Continue to stir mixture for 2 minutes, making sure soup does not stick to edges of the pot.
Add in the vegetable broth, stir to combine and let cook on low for 15 minutes.
For the stewed apples:
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, apple, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Sauté for 5-10 minutes. As soon as mixture begins to dry, add water—1 Tbsp. at a time. Once apples are soft, with slightly crispy edges, remove from heat.
Serve soup topped with stewed apples. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated in airtight container though best enjoyed day-of.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate of 1/3 of the recipe, calculated without hard cider