It's fall, I love this season even if this year it's much colder than fall usually is at this time. Last year we had my parents and a friend of theirs over for dinner. He was kind enough to bring a dish and that dish happened to be squash soup. He's very aware of my families many allergies and made this dish very safe for all of us. No dairy, gluten, autolyzed yeast, citrus... there's more but you get the idea.
I'd never had squash soup so was leery to try, but I've trying to be more open to new food ideas. The soup was amazing and right away I knew I wanted to try doing it myself. So when I got an acorn squash from CSA a couple of weeks ago I had the perfect excuse. I already had onions and apples coming out of my ears, so I really just need to pick up some gluten free chicken broth which I did in short order and got to work.
This was a unique experience for me. Its not very often that I don't have any kind of recipe in front of me to work from as a base for inspiration. All I used to make this soup was the memory of what Carl's soup had tasted like from so long ago and the ingredients I had on hand. Every time I added to the pot I wrote it down at the same time, changing and scribbling until I got the amounts right. It was very fun. So I consider my little kitchen experiment (that's what it was before I found it was just what I'd wanted) was a success.
When was the first/most recent experiment you tried in the kitchen. Did it turn out? Share with me, I love hearing your stories. I hope you enjoy this soup and if you don't, that's ok too. :-)
3 1/2 to 4 cups acorn or butternut squash peeled and cubed (about one inch)
1 cup carrots (sliced 1/4 inch or so)
2 pieces of bacon chopped
1 cup onion diced
1 cup apple diced and peeled/cored (I used a gala)
1 garlic clove rough chop
1 teaspoon thyme
dash of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
For roasting veggies:
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Toss prepared squash and carrots in olive oil and place on a roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes or until tender. Turn/stir once during roasting.
While the carrots and squash roast you can prepare your other ingredients, slicing and dicing.
On medium-high heat in a large soup pot render the bacon 15 minutes or so from the roasting timer being done. Once rendered pull out the bacon pieces and put aside, leaving the goodness behind (I did mop up a little of the grease with a paper towel and replaced it with olive oil). Add onion and saute until it starts turning translucent then add the diced apple, garlic, thyme and a dash of cinnamon.
The roasted vegetables should be ready to come out of the oven at this time. Add them to the pot with the other ingredients as well as adding the bay leaf and teaspoon of salt. I sauteed this for another 3-5 minutes.
Add three cups of chicken broth and stir, the squash will start breaking up, let simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.
Pull out your immersion blender and go to town, adding the remaining broth a cup at a time until desired soup consistency is reached, it should be very creamy when you are done blending. Season with salt and pepper to taste (if needed).
Dish into bowls, top with bacon and/or sour cream and enjoy. Freezes very well, so don't waste those leftovers.