Thanks to the butternut and acorn squashes that are roasted with carrots and onions, this winter squash soup has a deceptive richness that is attained without adding any cream.
If you are a fan of acorn and butternut squashes, now is the time to enjoy these hearty, cooler-weather vegetables. This winter vegetable first started appearing in our local farmers markets in late September and will continue to be in season throughout the winter.
This smooth and creamy soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy winter squashes. It is a lovely soup that warms the heart and features some of autumn's best flavors. As an added bonus, it is possibly one of the easiest soups to make. Simply roast the squash until cooked, transfer it to a pot, add chicken stock and then purée.
Roasting the squash with onions and carrots adds a sweet, caramelized dimension to the flavor of the soup. Also, since you are roasting the squash, you don't have to worry about trying to peel that tough outer layer. Once cooked, the flesh of the squash is easily scooped out.
This soup is also perfect as first course for a holiday meal. Since the squash roasts in the oven, your stovetop is free to cook other dishes for the meal. You could even make it a day ahead if you like.
Deceptively rich, this soup has no cream added. The richness of the butternut and acorn squashes takes center stage in a soup that will your family and guests alike thankful they are at your table.
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) and "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99). She is the national spokeswoman for French's Mustards and French's French Fried Onions. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters.
Roasted Winter Squash Soup
1 acorn squash (about 1 to 2 lbs.)
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tsp. brown sugar
2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Crème fraiche or sour cream, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the butternut squash in pieces approximately the same size as the acorn squash.
Place the squash halves, skin side down, in a roasting pan. Place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in the cavity of each squash as well as on top of the butternut squash pieces. Scatter the carrots and onions evenly around the squash. Pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast until the squash are tender when pierced by a knife, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Scoop the squash from the skins and place in a large soup pot. Discard the skins. Add the carrots, onions, and cooking liquid. Then add the remaining 4 cups of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender. If using a food processor or blender, return the soup to the pot. Adjust the seasonings as needed and heat through over medium-low heat. Serve warm garnished with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream if desired. Serves 6.
Note: If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add more chicken stock. Freezes well.