Abowl of Acorn SquashPosted: November 15, 2011
Time for another autumnal food. Everyone say “Hi” to acorn squash. He’s the dark green one in the back, that’s kinda short & plump and covered with ridges. But it’s what he looks like on the inside that really matters, right?
Growing up, we always had a lot of real acorns in our yard. I’d always crack them open and hope there’d be something tasty instead. But there never was. I couldn’t understand why the squirrels always went nuts for them (hehe).
Thankfully, acorn squash has something very tasty inside. And after it’s roasted and cooked and blended, it turns into an even tastier bisque. Which could also make for an excellent Thanksgiving day appetizer if you need one.
Roasted Acorn Squash Bisque
– 2 acorn squashes
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
– 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 14.5 oz of chicken broth
– ½ cup of heavy cream
– 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Cracked red pepper
Heat your oven to 450º.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and season with a little salt and pepper. Place them cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with foil and roast until slightly tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. When you can easily pierce the skin with a pairing knife they’ll be ready. When cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and discard the skins.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute. Add the squash, mix with the onions and garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the thyme, broth, bay leaf and 1 can of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let it cook until squash is very tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Make sure to leave the lid open a crack to let the steam out. You might need to do this in batches, or use an immersion blender right in the pot. Return the pureed mixture to the pot, stir in the heavy cream and season with salt, pepper and cracked red pepper. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes so it can thicken slightly. To make it extra rich, stir in a small pat of butter. Serve warm.
First of all, soup is hard to photograph. So sorry that these pictures aren’t the most exciting. I did shoot the bowl on a fall-themed napkin and sprinkle a little maple pepper with habanero on top for some flair. (Which if you haven’t had, order yourself a few bottles right now.) Second, for only having half a cup of heavy cream, this bisque is incredibly rich and creamy. I’m going to say it’s mostly because of the pureed roasted acorn squash, but who knows. And let’s not forget about the fresh thyme, which totally flavors every spoonful of this soup and gives it that earthy, cooked-all-day taste that you really want in a hot soup on a cold day.