Savory Not Sweet

Last winter our friends who live in our condo building made Acorn Squash Soup.

I was reticent to taste it because I’ve always been a little funny about squash. Although I love spaghetti squash and summer squash, I always think of butternut and acorn squash to be slightly sweet. There are exceptions to my rule, but typically I don’t like foods that should be savory, to be sweet.

Once I was assured that the Acorn Squash Soup wasn’t sweet, I slurped down a bowl in no time. Surprised by how much I enjoyed the soup, I asked for the recipe, which I tucked away until now.

The squash and sage embody all things fall, and the cayenne pepper gives an unexpected spice. This recipe would make a fabulous starter at a Thanksgiving feast.

Squash prepared with shallots and garlic

Roasted squash

Squash and shallots

Emersion blender

Soup and crackers

Acorn Squash Soup

Source: Guy Fieri

What You Need

  • 3 whole acorn squash, approximately 8 cups when cooked
  • 6 shallots, 1 cup diced, 3 left whole and peeled
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage, dry
  • 1 teaspoon savory (I used thyme because I couldn’t find savory)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each side. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper among the six halves.
  3. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. This can be done ahead.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and sauté until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with ½ cup of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots (peeled) and garlic and then remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with an immersion blender. The mixture will be very thick.
  6. Add in the cayenne, white peppers and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat.
  7. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the immersion blender and stir in ¼ cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low.
  8. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining parmesan.
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