In looking for something to do with the acorn squash that showed up in our CSA box last week, I ran across a recipe for ancho chili butternut squash soup, and decided to do a riff on it. I was not disappointed!
When I think of winter squash soup, I usually of something on the sweeter side. You know, like something you might serve as a starter for Thanksgiving dinner. That was not at all what I had in mind for dinner last night, and this recipe was just the thing. Served with a quick salad of escarole with Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and store-bought vinaigrette*, it was another weeknight success!
* When I don’t make my own (usually just because I didn’t think ahead and am trying to throw a salad together at the last minute, since making vinaigrette is ridiculously easy), I like Briannas dressings, especially the Champagne Caper Vinaigrette and the Real French Vinaigrette.
I think you could actually use any winter squash in it that you happen to have on hand. My only real complaints were that the batch was a little too small (no leftovers, boo!) and the chili powder made it a little too spicy, so I’ve doubled my original recipe here to make 4 servings, and cut back on the chili powder a bit.
- 2 lbs. acorn squash, peeled**, seeded and cubed
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2-3 Tbsp cream
- handful of mushrooms***
- kosher salt
- smoked paprika
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the acorn squash, chili powder, shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until squash is very tender, about 25 minutes.
- Cool slightly and then purée in a blender or food processor.
- Return the puréed soup to the pan, and stir in the cream over low heat until it's to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
- While the soup is warming, clean the mushrooms with a dry paper towel, chop them if needed, and heat a slug of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sautée until a little soft, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and smoked paprika, and serve atop the soup.