Sunday, November 7, 2010

Acorn Squash Soup

I've had several squash sitting on my counter for a week or so and couldn't decide what I was going to do with them, then the temperatures took a nosedive late last week so I was craving some soup.  Problem solved!

This is a Guy Fieri recipe that I found on Food Network's website.  The one thing you never have to worry about with any of Guy's recipes is it being boring.  In my experience, he always brings the flavor.

This starts by oven roasting the squash with shallots and garlic and the smells alone that fill your kitchen are reason enough to make this!!  One of my acorn squash looked a little small so I roasted a butternut squash to make sure I had enough flesh in the end.

I couldn't find savory anywhere so I substituted thyme and it worked fine.  I garnished mine with some toasted and chopped hazelnuts and a little creme fraiche.  

Acorn Squash Soup
Guy Fieri

3 whole acorn squash, approximately 8 cups when cooked
6 shallots, 1 cup diced, 3 left whole and peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, in all
4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sage, dry
1 teaspoon savory
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

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