It’s finally fall (well, in most parts of the world). Arizona hasn’t quite gotten the message yet. It’s 91 degrees here today. Oh, well…the weather is getting colder where most of you live, the fall produce is piled high in my local grocery store and more importantly, I couldn’t wait another minute to do this Roasted Winter Squash Soup! Patience is not a virtue I was born with 😉
This soup features roasted butternut, acorn and carnival squashes along with roasted garlic (you can see our Oven Roasted Garlic 101 tutorial here). It’s part of a new series of posts I am working on for you. More of a “how-to” series. In the search box, you’ll be able to type in ‘101’ and get every tutorial in the series. Pretty cool, right?
Anyway, I digress…
One look at this squash and you are probably wondering what it is. This is called Carnival Squash. Although it looks like an acorn squash, it is more similar to a Kabocha or Butternut Squash and is best eaten after roasting. Perfect for this winter soup!
I learned a nifty little trick in slicing these hard squashes that I am going to share with you because quite frankly, it just shouldn’t be as difficult as we all make it. With a sharp knife, make small slits all over of the squash. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Then, microwave for 2 minutes. It should slice and/or peel easily. This method works with all hard squashes. Why didn’t I think of that?
You’ll want to cut all of the squash into similar sized pieces so they cook at the same rate. At 350-375, they should take about an hour. Before roasting, just give each exposed surface a light brushing of oil and liberal sprinkle of salt and pepper. Test with a fork for tenderness. If they seem a bit firm, keep roasting.
Allow to cool enough to handle and then using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and discard the rinds.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, add the sliced onions and diced apples with 1 tsp of oil until they are tender and the onion just begin to caramelize. Low and slow produces the best caramelization. Keep an eye on the moisture. Initially, the apples will give off some liquid but it will dry up and we want juicy onions, not crispy brown onions. Add a small dab of vegan margarine if necessary as it cooks.
Using a hand blending stick or blender (but preferably a food processor which I eventually ending up using), puree until smooth, adding the broth gradually as you go.
Place the now pureed mixture back into the stock pot, add your seasonings, parmesan and the creamer. Simmer on low heat. If it seems too thick, you can always add more broth. Taste for seasoning. Additional salt and pepper may be required.
- FOR ROASTING:
- 1 small Acorn Squash, roasted
- 1 small Carnival Squash, roasted (use 1 large or 2 small Acorn if you can’t find this one)
- 1 Small Butternut Squash, roasted
- 1 Head of Garlic, roasted (see our tutorial here)
- 2 Tbl Oil (for brushing the squash)
- Salt & Pepper
- TO COMPLETE THE SOUP:
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 Apple, diced and sauteed
- 1 Onion, diced and sauteed
- 1 C Vegetable Broth
- pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp Ground Sage
- 1/2 C [url href=”http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/almond-milk-creamers”]SO Delicious brand Creamer (we used Almond Milk Creamer)[/url] – you could use canned Coconut Milk if you can’t find it
- 2 Tbl [url href=”http://www.goveggiefoods.com/products/grated-topping/dairy-free/parmesan”]vegan Parmesan[/url] ([url href=”http://www.goveggiefoods.com/products/grated-topping/dairy-free/parmesan”]we use GO Veggie! brand[/url])
- 1 Tbl [url href=”http://www.tofutti.com/dairy-free-cheeses/sour-cream/”]vegan Sour Cream (we used Tofutti brand)[/url]
- Fresh Sage leaves for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lined sheet pan, placed cut squashes (and garlic if roasting – see our tutorial here)
- Brush all exposed areas of the flesh with a small amount of oil and liberally season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until beginning to caramelize and are becoming very soft. This can take up to an hour.
- Set aside to cool slightly. They are too warm to handle at this point.
- In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add 1 tsp of oil, the diced onion and apple, sauteeing until the onions begin to caramelize.
- Add 1/2 C of the vegetable stock to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to remove the browned bits. These are flavor!
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the remaining 1/2 C of broth.
- For the cooled squash, using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh and discard the rind.
- Add the squash and squeeze out a few cloves of the now sweet, roasted garlic. This is to taste.
- Using a stick blender, puree. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a traditional blender but allow the mixture to cool before doing so. Hot liquid expands in a blender, so you want to be very careful not to get burnt. You may have to do this in stages to get it all done. Place back into the stock pot to reheat.
- The mixture will be very thick at this point.
- Add the cayenne, salt, pepper and sage. Taste for seasoning.
- Stir in the creamer (or coconut milk).
- Simmer over low heat. Stir to combine.
- Add the parmesan and reduce heat to low.
- Serve with fresh cracked pepper, a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of [url href=”http://www.goveggiefoods.com/products/grated-topping/dairy-free/parmesan”]vegan parmesan[/url], if desired.
- If you have fresh sage leaves, you could garnish with those or a few sprigs of parsley.
- We served ours in a small, hollowed out Carnival Squash. This was purely for decorative purposes.