Tonight I made the most wonderful soup I’ve ever had. It’s healthy, too; it’s low fat and packed with vitamins and beta carotene.
Here is how you make it:
2 acorn squash, about 1 pound each (halved and seeded)
a handful of peeled carrots (I used the baby carrots all washed and ready-to-use)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 bunch leeks (well washed, white and light green parts only)
24 oz chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh would have been great, I bet)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat free with great success)
a generous splash of real maple syrup (please, no fakey stuff. Hy-Vee Grands brand is good)
parsley oil (optional; see procedure below)
1. Heat oven to 450 F. Spray a glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange squash, cut side down, in the dish. Pour in 1 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Add onion, leeks, and carrots. Cook for another 30 minutes or until squash and carrots are soft.
2. Let the squash cool a few minutes, then scrape the flesh away from the skin with a spoon. Discard the skin. Put squash flesh and other vegetables into a blender. Add broth, about a cup at a time, until it all blends together smoothly and all the broth is added. Pour through a strainer to filter out stringy or fibrous bits. You may need to press it through a bit; some fiber in the soup is fine.
*at this point, you can put the blender pitcher in the fridge and not worry about it for a couple of days*
3. Put strained mixture in a large saucepan. If it has been refrigerated, heat it up, whisking frequently. Once warm, whisk in spices and sour cream until it is well blended. Taste it; add as much salt as you desire. Taste it again and decide if you want it to be spicier (FYI, the answer is “yes”). Add cayenne, a sprinkle at a time, until it’s the right amount of hot for you.
4. Whisk in the maple syrup. Serve with a drizzle of parsley oil.
Parsley oil procedure:
Very finely mince a teaspoon or so of fresh parsley. In a small bowl, mix in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly and let sit for at least 30 minutes before adding to the soup. Chili oil or the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes would also be good.