Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Acorn Squash Soup



I don't remember if I have mentioned this before, but I have been attending some of the free Cooking Technique Sessions conducted by the Williams Sonoma stores. These sessions are held on Sunday mornings and are really interesting. The first one I attended was focused on fall squashes. The lady doing the demo had brought 6 different varieties of squashes and she cooked a few of them for us. One of the squashes she cooked was the acorn squash. She cut it in half, spread some butter and brown sugar on the inside, placed it upside down on a cookie sheet and baked it for about 30 minutes. What came out was a nicely caramelized, gorgeous looking thing, which was very yummy too.
The other squashes (butternut, kabocha, sugar pie, etc., were roasted with some olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. They tasted awesome too.
Coming to the soup, I roasted the acorn squash (with peel) in the oven, scooped out the flesh and then made the soup. This can be done with any other squash that is available.
Soup
Ingredients
Chopped onions – ¾ cup
Mashed squash – ¾ cup
Water – 2 cups + more
Milk/cream – 2-3 tbsps
Finely chopped garlic – 1-2 cloves
Chili powder to taste
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Thyme (or any herb of choice) – 1 tbsp
Olive oil/Cooking oil – 2-3 tbsps + more for brushing on the squash
Method
Preheat oven to 350O F. Wash and cut the squash, remove the seeds and pulp, brush with a little oil, sprinkle sat and chili powder and place upside down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Let the squash cool a bit before you handle it. Using a spoon, scoop out the cooked flesh and mash well.
In a saucepan, sauté onion in 2-3 tbsps of oil. Once they turn slightly translucent, add the garlic and sauté for couple of minutes. Add the mashed squash, salt, chili, turmeric and herbs. Mix well. Add the 2 cups of water and let it simmer. Add more water if you want. Also, you can blend this mixture if you prefer  smoother soup. I personally liked the slightly coarse texture.
Add the milk/cream just before serving.
Croutons
Ingredients
Butter – 1 tbsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Bread – 2 slices
Mint/Rosemary/or any herb of choice – 1 tbsp
Method
I used regular whole wheat bread, but you could use any bread like a baguette, sour dough etc. In a pan, heat oil and butter on medium heat. Add the herbs and heat it for a minute. Add the chopped bread and toss to coat. Reduce the heat, and let it get crunchy (about 10-15 minutes). Keep tossing to ensure even crunchiness.  Add a few croutons to your soup and enjoy. Bon Appétit. 

 Note: For an added crunch you can also add toasted pumpkin/squash seeds. To make those, wash  dry the seeds. On a cookie sheet toss the seeds with some olive oil, salt, and chili powder. Roast in the oven at 350OF until they are crunchy (about 30-40 minutes). These make a nice afternoon snack.

7 comments:

  1. This is the dish to impress your guests:-) I've tried it in the past and it came out so well.The only variation in my recipe is i've garnished it with some roasted sweetcorn in a tiny bit if olive oil.This truly is divine! Thanks for sharing this, Aparna.

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  2. Never cooked this acorn squash,soup sounds comforting.

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  3. I am living on soups now..dont get squash here but ll replace it with pumpkin!

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  4. Thanks Subha Chechi, will try the corn next time.

    Thanks Gauri, you could try it with the regular pumpkin available in India. It should work.

    Thanks Priya, do try it.

    Thanks Julie.

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  5. wow...yummyyyy...so damn mouthwatering!!

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