I’ve been blaming a lot of other food bloggers for my entries here lately, and today seems to be more of the same. This time it was Katerina of Daily Unadventures in Cooking who decided my fate for me. I was just taking my daily dose of food blogs when I ran across her recipe for Acorn Squash with Toasted Seeds, and I knew I had to make it, or something like it.
My first attempt was a complete disaster. Nothing I had read prepared me for the fact that acorn squash seems to amplify salt to a magnitude heretofore unknown by man. I’d used chicken stock as the liquid, and even though I use the low sodium variety, I figure that played a part in the over salinization. The resulting dish would have tasted great, if I’d been able to get past the saltiness of it, but I couldn’t. It was drain fodder, nothing more.
In the end, I looked over Katerina’s recipe again and decided I’d like to up the flavor by adding roasted garlic, cut out the chicken stock altogether and loose the toasted seeds, since my dental work didn’t find them to be all that much fun.
The resulting dish is thick, satisfying and oh-so delicious. I can honestly say that this is my own creation, since I used the original recipe only as a guideline for cooking the squash, which is of a variety I’m unused to working with. This has been an egregious oversight on my part, and I’ll not be failing to give the little forlorn acorn squash his due from now on. I crafted at least three new uses for it when I tasted this soup, and I can’t wait to see if they stand up as well as I think they will.
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 cans vegetable broth
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Peel the squash, remove pulp and seeds. Chop squash into approximately 3/4? pieces. Toss with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, pepper and just a little pinch of kosher salt.
- Cut the top off 1 head of garlic, place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top and tent foil over.
- Place squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until tender. (45 minutes to 1 hour). At the same time place garlic in the oven. They will both be done at the same time.
- Remove squash and garlic from oven, set aside. heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute onions until just translucent. Add squash and vegetable broth. Squeeze roasted garlic from the head and add in with the squash mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes and taste for seasoning.
- Add mixture by half to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to soup pot over low heat. (mixture will be very thin!)
- In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, stirring constantly until golden brown. Add by spoonfuls to simmering squash mixture, waiting 1 minute between spoonfuls, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Serve hot, with Ale Bread or bread sticks.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
I really don’t think I’ll do anything differently the next time around. This soup is creamy, delectable and filling. It takes a while to prepare, but the effort is well worth it. I’m sure that the squash could be roasted the day before and reheated in the pan without doing much to damage the texture or flavor of this dish.
In the end, the flavor somehow reminds me of turkey, and I plan to pair this with turkey in the very near future. The flavors are not by any means overwhelming, and there seems to be something slightly magical in the whole affair, as though some greater flavor profile is fighting to emerge from the component parts. Perhaps I haven’t achieved it yet, but I plan on trying.
For many years I’ve avoided the humble squash. That time is past. I think we’re in for a happy future together.