Monday, October 15, 2012

Spicy Acorn Squash Soup

I swear this is not baby food.  This was supposed to be pumpkin soup.  But apparently, I don't know my squashes, and bought an acorn squash by mistake.  Don't make this with acorn squash.  Not just because it will make it this funky color, but because acorn squash, with its ridges, is a pain to peel.

I should have stopped after I first attempted to peel the squash with the vegetable peeler.  Or even after I broke out the very sharp paring knife to carve the skin out of the ridges.  But instead twenty-five minutes and two band-aids later, I had a peeled acorn squash, which I cut up into chunks and dropped into the slow cooker.

The flavor of this is soup is actually not bad.  I added extra spice and used fresh grated ginger to make it extra spicy.  The dollop of sour cream at the end was cooling and creamy.  I would make this again, except with a nice, smooth, ridgeless pumpkin.  And save the acorn squash for roasting and eating with butter and brown sugar.

Spicy Acorn Squash Soup
Adapted from Best Ever Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into chunks (but really, you shouldn't make this with an acorn squash, unless you want to risk the bloody fingers)
1 leek, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed through a garlic press
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp fresh grated ginger, and 1 tsp ground ginger
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp chili powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream as garnish

Place squash chunks into stoneware insert of the slow cooker. Over the stovetop, heat oil in a large pan.  Add leeks and garlic and cook until they start soften, about two minutes or so.  Then add fresh grated ginger and cumin and cook for another minute or so.  Transfer to stoneware and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Add chicken broth.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the squash is soft and tender.

Ladle soup in batches to blender and puree until smooth.  (Or if you have an immersion blender, good for you!) Transfer soup back to the stoneware.  This is where I tasted and found the soup kind of bland, so I added ground ginger, chili powder, more cumin, and more cayenne pepper.  You could probably do this before cooking the squash.  I don't think it makes a difference. Cook on high for 1 hour.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream.


mollyjade said...

Next time cook the acorn squash, then remove the peel. Comes off so much easier that way.

Cheryl said...

That is what everyone has been telling me! Why couldn't the cookbook I used say that?