A few days before our farmers' market closed down for the season, I stocked up on several varieties of winter squash; butternut, spaghetti, delicata, and acorn. After cooking most of them, a lone Elmwood Stock Farm acorn squash sat nestled in a wooden bowl on the countertop for over a week. I'd grown weary of sweet and sticky lip-smacking glazed roasted squash, so I ignored it.
A few nights ago, I needed low impact time in the kitchen. I didn't want to labor over anything fiddly or fussy, so I took a second glance at the neglected countertop squash and decided to throw together a very simple roasted acorn squash soup using my familiar method for butternut squash soup.
After halving the squash, I scooped out the seeds, brushed the cut sides with olive oil, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and slid them into a 350 degree oven (cut side down) to roast for 45 minutes. While the squash roasted, I sliced a couple of carrots, diced an onion, chopped a celery stalk, and diced a peeled bosc pear (unconventional). I tumbled the vegetables into a soup pot, added 2 cups of chicken stock, brought the stock to a boil, reduced it to a simmer, seasoned it, covered the pot, and let the vegetables bubble away until they were tender.
I wanted a crisp garnish for the soup, but knew that croutons would swell into gigantic puffy glops of bread. Although I usually suck at toasting seeds (burn baby burn), I took a chance and toasted the seeds from the acorn squash. After rinsing and drying the seeds, I tossed them with melted smoked paprika butter before sliding them into the oven to toast alongside the roasting squash.
I poured myself a glass of wine and joined Michael in the parlor. My tufted chenille chair blissfully swallowed me whole. Happy camper.
I almost forgot that I was cooking.
When the squash was beautifully caramelized and tender, I scooped the flesh from the shells, plopping it into a blender with the chicken stock and cooked vegetables. Using a kitchen towel to cover the blender (trust me on that one), I pureed the mix until smooth, poured the puree back into the soup pot, thinned it out with a bit of chicken stock, gave it a taste, and kept it warm over a low flame until we were ready to eat.
After a glass of wine or three, I ladled the velvety roasted acorn squash soup into our chipped hand-me-down Bybee Pottery bowls before finishing it with swirls of pure maple syrup-infused sour cream, toasted spiced seeds, and fresh snipped chives
The soup was lighter than air with a soft luxurious mouthfeel. While the tangy sour cream cut through the richness with smoky maple nuance, the verdant chives added tiny bites of freshness and the toasted seeds provided crunch.