I admit I’m not always a fan of super sweet squashes in savory foods, and while I have met a pumpkin soup I liked, they are rare. Acorn squash however, has all that squashy goodness with a mellower, and much less sweet, flavor. Roasted with onions and blended with sage and cream it becomes a rich, velvety soup. Thick and satisfying with just a touch of heat from the cayenne. Oh, and it’s easy! Sit back and let the squash roast and then you’ve got a mere 25 minutes of active cooking time before you’re ready to eat. Note that you will need an immersion blender.
Adapted from Guy Fieri via Food Network.
Makes about 10 cups.
- 2 acorn squash
- 1 1/2 medium yellow onions
- About 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Pepitas (optional for garnish)
- Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional for garnish)
Roast the squash
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
Use a chef’s knife to cut the squash in half, and then scoop out the seeds and guts with a spoon. You can discard the seeds, or save them to toast later. Place the halves face up on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Peel the garlic and 1 yellow onion. Quarter the onion and distribute the onion and garlic between the cavities of the squash. Drizzle them with olive oil and bake on the middle rack for about an hour, or until browned and very tender. Set aside to cool for a half an hour or more.
Make the soup
Dice the remaining half an onion. In a 4 quart pot (I managed to fit it in a 3 quart, but it was tight), heat the butter over medium high heat until it’s foaming. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring periodically, until very translucent. Now add the roasted onion and garlic from the squashes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until everything begins to brown and caramelize. Add a half cup or so of the stock to deglaze the pot, and scrape all that good brown stuff off the bottom of the pot.
Pour in the remaining stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and spices. Turn the burner off while you work on the squash. Use a large spoon to scrape all the squash flesh out of the tough skin, and add it to the pot. Discard the empty skins and turn the stove burner back on to medium. Use an immersion blender to blend up all the big chunks of squash and onion.
When the soup is and hot and steaming (how long this takes depends on the temperature of the squash when you add it), and you see the occasional bubble pop through the surface of the thick soup, reduce heat to low and add the cream and Parmesan. Use the immersion blender to blend until completely smooth.
Serve this rich acorn squash soup hot and garnish it with pepitas and fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.