Wine country visiting tip!
Watch a food demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America and learn to make something great. They host classes where for a little bit of money, you can watch professionals demonstrate a recipe – like on a cooking show.
Once James and I learned to make Mexican hot chocolate and Churros.
(I should read that previous sentence every day to make myself smile.)
Healthy, tasty, surprisingly delicious… even James gives it a “pretty good.”
(And he hates squash.)
You’ll need to pop the squashes in the oven about an hour before you make the soup — which makes this prep great for a Sunday afternoon. Cook the squash at the same time as some other dish. Then you can scoop the pureé and save it for a few days until you’re ready to make it into soup.
Squash is good like that.
Acorn Squash Soup Recipe
3 acorn squash, approximately 2 pounds each, cut in half, seeds scraped out
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Put squash halves cut side up in a baking dish. Sprinkle squash with brown sugar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour a little water (a 1/2 inch or so) in the dish and cover with foil . Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Take out of oven and let the squash cool.
While the squash is baking, get out your knife, you have some chopping to do. There are onionscarrotspotatocelery to dice, garlicgingerthyme to mince — check it below.
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 teaspoons thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown sugar to taste
Heat a big soup pot over medium heat. Add butter, let it melt. Add onion. Stir slightly more than occasionally for 5 minutes until onions are see-through and lightly caramelized. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and ginger stirring with purpose. Sauté for another two minutes.
Scrape roasted squash scooped from its shell into the pot. Add the potato. Stir even more purposefully. Let all the vegetables heat through for another 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and scrape up all the bits on the bottom. Bring to a simmer. Add thyme and simmer for a few minutes more.
When vegetables are tender, plunge an immersion blender into the pot and grind it up until its smooth. No immersion blender? Then puree the soup in batches in a blender. Don’t fill all the way up or the hot soup will explode all over your kitchen. I’m rocking a few scars on my forearms from that exactly that kind of mistake.
No blender? Use a food processor.
No food processor? Use a food mill!
No food mill? Use a potato masher!
(After that, dude, I cannot help you.)
Once all the soup has been blended, put back into pot on low heat and stir.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and brown sugar.
I like to serve with crumbled fried sage leaves and grilled cheeses that have a little salt and pepper on the tops.
Because, well, that’s me.