It’s hard to believe Halloween is already here.
It seems like I just packed away all of my Christmas decorations, and now it’s already time to start planning a Thanksgiving menu. I’d have to say, though, my absolute favorite months are among us. September, October, and November are my favorite time of year. The weather is starting to get chilly, but still sunny enough to allow for constant comfort. Football games, mums, changing leaves, crackling fires…I could go on and on.
This past weekend I got to do something I look forward to every year come October: pumpkin carving. This activity can only truly exist while watching Hocus Pocus, of course. There’s something nostalgic about celebrating a fun holiday with candy, scary movies, and jack-o-lanterns that takes you back to childhood.
Something else I love about this season as the cold weather comes in is the endless options of soups. I recently bought a beautiful acorn squash from Trader Joe’s. I was so intrigued by the cute little acorn shape and the vibrant green and hints of orange that made up the outside of the squash. I had never cooked an acorn squash before, so I was really excited to roast it for enchiladas, stuff it with quinoa, or even bake it with cinnamon and sugar for a festive dessert. Despite all of my great plans for the little guy, the squash sat on my counter for a good week without being touched. I think I was a little intimidated!
So then came my craving for soup. I wanted something substantial without tons of heavy cream or even meat. And I’m so over chicken noodle and vegetable soup. Our freezer is still loaded beyond capacity with these gems. Cue the squash.
This little acorn squash made an incredible velvety soup with rich hints of warm spices and white pepper. We’ve eaten this for lunch and dinner multiple times. It’s definitely a meal I’ll be whipping up again once I have another acorn squash to grace my kitchen countertop.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(Adapted from Oh My Veggies)
One large acorn squash
Coconut oil (or olive/canola) cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon of course ground salt
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 teaspoons of sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
Plain Greek yogurt (optional)
3 thick slices of stale bread, cubed
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely minced
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Carefully cut the squash in half (length-wise) and discard the seeds with a spoon.
Spray the squash with coconut oil spray and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place both squash halves on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 45-50 minutes. Allow it to cool before using a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin.
While the squash is roasting, heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Helpful Trick: Adding oil to butter protects the butter from burning.
Add the chopped shallots and onions. Toss them around in the hot oil to coat evenly. Once they become soft, after about 5 minutes, add sugar and sautee for about 15 minutes to caramelize. Lastly, add the garlic and stir continuously for another minute. Remove from the heat once everything is caramel in color and set aside.
Add the squash, onion mix, almond milk, and vegetable broth to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Season with white pepper and a dash of salt to taste if necessary.
For the croutons, slice bread into large cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Broil for 5-6 minutes, turning over every minute or so to make sure all sides are golden brown.
Serve the soup warm with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (or sour cream) and a handful of croutons. Garnish with a sprig of parsley if you wish.
The flavors of this soup will warm you up from head to toe. The buttery squash, sweet caramelized onions, tangy yogurt, and savory croutons make for the perfect bowl of fall comfort.