The crispness of the fall air and cooking… somehow the two seem to go hand-in-hand. Maybe it’s the rich, hearty scents of pumpkin, apple, squash, soups and casseroles that make me long to be in the kitchen. Or the comfort these foods bring us. Maybe it’s that cooking warms the heart and home and it’s the warm hug we need as the weather turns brisk. All I can say is the delectable aroma of this acorn squash soup flooded our home and is a fabulous way to welcome fall.
Funny story about this soup. So I am not really an acorn squash lover. And I’m not really a soup person. Okay, I’m not a soup person at all. But my parents were coming to town for the weekend and I know how much they love acorn squash. So I bought three (just 3) of them for us to make at lunch. Well after enjoying a delicious meal on a lovely fall day, I carried the squash skin and seeds out, dumped them in our compost pile and moved on. Fast forward to the following summer. My hubby comes in the house from dumping a bucket of compost on the pile only to tell me “it looks like you have squash growing out there.”
Yup, those seeds from those three acorn squash made a surprise visit with it’s long vines and beautiful yellow flowers… and a whole bunch of squash!
So when life (or compost) gives you squash, what’s a girl to do? Make soup!
Oddly enough, only a few months before we knew we were squash farmers, we had dined out for dinner and I tried a creamy squash soup for the first time. And I actually really liked it. Which came in really handy seeing that all the squash ripened about the same time. And my non-squash lovin’ family was not thrilled about the idea of consuming that much squash that many times. So I needed to do something that would be easy to make, wouldn’t take up a lot of room, and that I could freeze. Hence my recreation of Acorn Squash Soup!
This soup is actually one of my favorites. It is so creamy, rich, filling, and healthy… and I crave it!
Okay, okay… onto the recipe. But before I give you the secret of this yumminess, I have to tell you two things…
- Give it a chance. You may think the hidden ingredients will be odd… trust me, they’re not! You’d never know they’re in there!
- Even though it looks like there are several steps to the recipe, it is super simple. I used a food processor to puree the ingredients. It was quick and easy. You know me… if cookin’ is complicated, I don’t do it! (Don’t have a food processor? A counter top blender or hand immersion blender would also work.)
So, the secret is that this soup is all natural and loaded with veggies! The pureed acorn squash and cauliflower gives the soup a perfect creamy consistency without adding any heavy creams. And… it’s twice the veggies without even a hint of cauliflower! Hold on while pat myself on the back for this one. Yah, I might be awesome!
If you are a freezer meal kinda gal, this soup is perfect! One batch serves six people with no sides. Serve a croissant or a half sandwich and now you’ve doubled your soup servings.
Okay, let’s get cookin’!
- 2 acorn squash (or one large butternut squash)
- ½ head cauliflower
- 3 Tbsp butter
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ¼ tsp. salt (if using salted butter or chicken broth, you may want to skip adding extra salt)
- ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper, optional (gives a good bit of heat)
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, very carefully piercing the middle with a sharp knife. The skin is quite tough, so move slowly so the squash doesn't roll.
- Scoop out seeds and stringy membrane.
- Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. (Lining the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper makes clean up easier.)
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the squash is soft. Let cool.
- While squash is cooking, steam cauliflower until soft. Puree in a food processor. (Add a little water or chicken stock if needed to thin out the puree.)
- In a small pan, melt the butter. Add garlic and onion. Cook for a few minutes, until onions are soft.
- Add butter, garlic and onion mixture to the cauliflower and puree.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the pureed mixture and 4 cups of chicken stock. Stir.
- When the squash has finished baking, spoon the fleshy insides into the food processor. Puree (once again making sure it is nice and thin).
- Add pureed squash to the pot. Stir well.
- Add Cayenne Pepper and salt (if desired) to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a dash of cayenne pepper or dillweed, or a swirl of sour cream.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
Happy fall, dear friends!