Acorn Squash Soup (★★★★★)

This is my third autumn since we’ve moved to Upstate New York, and our local farms are selling locally grown acorn squash again, so it’s time to start making Acorn Squash Soup, which is my favorite soup to make with my Professional Series 300 Vitamix.  (Yes, it’s basically the same as a Vitamix 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.)

Now, over the years, I my recipe has gradually evolved from the original version to what I make today, and I recognize that my current version is based on my personal preferences, but if you’re a fan of richer soups and acorn squash, I think you’ll really like this.

Acorn Squash Soup (★★★)
This recipe can easily be halved, and used to be half this size.  I’ve simply gotten in the habit of using an entire squash when making it. The Acorn Squash is the star of the soup, and tremendously aided by quality milk, so the difference between this soup made with sub-standard milk and below average acorn squash and this soup made with fresh, in-season acorn squash and local farm milk is a big one.

1 medium acorn squash
2 large bouillion cubes (2 cups of broth worth of bouillon cubes)
4 cups of whole milk
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg (to taste)
cinnamon stick pieces (to taste)
pinch of extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil
a sliver of fresh ginger
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

The easy way to cook the squash is to slice it as cleanly in half as possible.  Clean out the seeds, which I like to roast separately, and put both halves in a pyrex tray large enough to hold them, putting just enough water in to prevent air from getting in/out of the squash.  Microwave the squash for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on how large it is. (May need longer depending on the microwave)

While the squash is being microwaved, put the milk, cinnamon sticks, ginger, nutmeg, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil and bouillon cubes in the blender, and blend on high for about a minute so that everything is very well blended before adding squash.  You can easily add more cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger as needed, but you can’t take it out, so err on the side of caution if you’re not sure how much to add.  Ginger and cinnamon both help bring out the flavor of acorn squash.  While I personally add a reasonable amount of cinnamon, I haven’t had anyone successfully identify the ginger before being told it’s in there.

Once the squash is done being cooked in the microwave, it should be reasonably easy to turn the squash over and scoop out the meat out, leaving only the skin behind.  If the squash is still tough, it needs to be cooked longer next time.  After putting all the squash meat into the blender, you’re dealing with a pretty full container.  Blend until well mixed and taste.  Add nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon to taste and blend.  Then add salt and pepper to taste and blend.  May need to be heated further in a pot before serving.

My wife and I both love the fluffy, whipped texture the blender gives it, and this newer recipe gives it more milk, more flavor and a slightly higher ratio of squash to liquid than the original recipe.  It may not be quite as light, but if you don’t mind a filling soup and like acorn squash, I think the changes are all for the better.

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