I bought a little cookbook at TJ Maxx last year for $1.99. The title is Pumpkins & Squashes by Anne Sheasby. It’s by a publisher named Parragon, which is in the UK. I gave a quick glance-through at the time and decided that at a buck ninety-nine, surely we’d make and enjoy something from it.
This soup is the first recipe I’ve tried from it. I admit I was a skeptic. I’d never had acorn squash, and I wasn’t too sure how I’d like the pureed texture. Even though it looked simple enough to make, any cooking takes at least a little time and we want to feel any time we spend doing so has been adequately rewarded.
I felt rewarded with this soup. In fact, I’m eating it while typing this post.
This soup is wonderful. Amazing. Worth every minute it took in actively making it. I now want to hoard it away and defend it against interlopers. Except for you, of course.
I think I remembered to put everything in this initial “ingredients” shot for once. Hoozah!
Probably the best thing about this recipe is its short list of ingredients. Makes it a little more approachable for me. Surely I’m not the only one who’s loved the look of a final recipe pic, but balked when seeing a huge, long list of ingredients. Well, this one is short and sweet, if a little longer on time.
The veggies are laid out on a baking sheet, the larger ones cut in half to allow them to roast mo bettah. The original recipe didn’t call for it, but I wrapped the garlic in foil, and I went ahead and did a whole head of garlic as opposed to the original 5-6 cloves. I have no regrets about this. It’s garlic. Garlic is full of win. 5 – 6 cloves? Who were they kidding? Hahaha!
The veggies are roasted for 40 minutes and in that time your nose will convey to your stomach that something intensely wonderful is going on somewhere in its vicinity. Your stomach will tell you to give that something wonderful to it. As in right then. Be strong, though, because there’s a little ways to go yet.
The veggies get dumped in a nice, big soup pot with some chicken stock. Kersplash! They then cook down for about thirty minutes, and as one can see, they continue to soften and thicken a little. After the soup cools, it’s all blended to produce that pureed texture I wasn’t initially sure about.
I admit it took me a couple of mouthfuls to get used to it, but the flavor was so tongue-pleasing-good that it didn’t take long at all for me to put away a bowl of this stuff. I’m a skeptic no more!
Hubby is another story. While he assured me later that day that he liked it, he also felt like it could use something more. I think he’s just used to a more traditional soup that has lots of…things in it. Things that have shape and differing tastes, not all one melded blend.
Me, though? I’m happy. Soooooo happy to have tried this soup. It’s just slightly sweet, very slightly so, from the squash and sweet potato, but the shallots and garlic counter that perfectly with their savoriness. The texture is so smooth – almost too smooth because it makes it so much quicker to eat. Before I knew it, the stuff was gone!
Hope you enjoy it as well!
Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato & Garlic Soup
Adapted from Pumpkins & Squashes by Anne Sheasby
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes plus cooling time Level: Easy Serves: 4-6
- 1 sweet potato, about 12 ounces
- 1 acorn squash (I used a golden acorn squash)
- 4 shallots, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 3 3/4 cup low-sodium, MSG-free chicken stock
- 1/2 cup light cream (I used half & half)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chives for garnishing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the sweet potato, squash, and shallots in half lengthwise, through the stem to the end. Scoop seeds from the squash. Brush cut sides with oil.
Put the vegetables, cut-side down, in a shallow roasting pan or on a rimmed cookie sheet. Wrap the garlic cloves, sprinkled with a little olive oil, in aluminum foil and place on pan. Roast in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until tender and light brown.
When cool (I let them rest for about an hour), scoop the flesh from the potato and squash halves, and put in a soup pot with the shallots. Remove the garlic from their peels and add to the pot. Add the chicken stock and a pinch of salt. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally until the vegetables are very tender.
Let the soup cool slightly (I did so for 30 minutes), then do one of three options: 1. Transfer the solids and a little of the liquid to a food processor and blend till smooth. 2. Transfer the solids and some of the liquid to a blender and process till smooth. 3. Using an immersion hand blender (method I used), submerge the blender in the soup pot and move around the solids and liquid till it’s all blended and smooth. Whichever method you use, be sure to check that you’ve gotten all the lumps of potato and squash pureed.
Put the blended part of the soup back (with the remaining liquid if there is any) in the soup pot and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until heated through. (Be careful to watch it at this point or put the lid back on partially as the soup may bubble up and spatter since it will be very thick.) Ladle into bowls and garnish with snipped chives and fresh cracked pepper.
When I went to scoop out the cooled potato halves, they ended up not being as tender as I thought they’d be, but the rest of the veggies definitely were. I just cut out the harder parts and added them in with everything else. Cooking them down in the soup sufficed for getting them to a more tender state.
There’s not much else to say other than time-wise, this one takes a little longer because of the roasting and then the cooling down the ingredients and soup need at certain points. DO let the soup cool a little before pureeing it, though. Hot liquids do not do well when blended and will likely try to overflow/splatter and might scald you. It’s best to be patient and let it all cool. I had the unlucky lesson of this happening to me – a hot mixture put in the food processor. Wish Bobby Flay had relayed that info in his recipe!
When hubby and I were discussing what he thought might need to be added to this, I proposed that maybe some additional shallots, caramelized and added to the top of the soup as another garnish might be nice. I don’t think I’d want to add anything more substantial than that, though.