I typically avoid any recipe that calls for peeling acorn squash. Have you ever tried it? It’s practically impossible – hard, thick skin and all those ridges………….
I came across a recipe years ago for a creamy winter squash soup. It called for an acorn and butternut squash, peeled and cubed. I was about to pass, but it looked so good that I was determined to figure out a way to make it without having to peel that pesky squash. Yes, I could have bought the pre-peeled, pre-chopped stuff that’s sold in most grocery stores. But it always looks like it’s been sitting around for way too long and as squash is the featured ingredient I really wanted the flavors to be as fresh and vibrant as possible.
I then realized that since the squash is cooked prior to blending into soup, I could probably bake it in advance.
I tried this and it worked beautifully. Best of all, it made an already fairly easy recipe even quicker to assemble. It freezes beautifully and I make it all winter long.
Winter Squash Soup
adapted from Epicurious
1/4 c. ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
(3) 14 1/2 ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash
1 1/2 lb. acorn squash
1 t. minced fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
1 t. minced fresh sage, plus extra for garnish
1/4 – 1/2 c. whipping cream
2 t. sugar
Pre-heat oven to 375. Halve squash and scoop out seeds. Place, flesh side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour.
Scoop out flesh when cool enough to handle and set aside.
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender (or use your immersion blender right in the pot).
Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.) Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with reserved herbs.