Creamy but light squash soup seasoned with an amazing combination of pantry spices! This soup can serve as lunch, dinner or a warming side dish. Serve it with toasted bread or a side salad. Adrianna even suggests adding Parmesan and using it as pasta sauce. Recipe yields 4 servings.
1 large acorn squash, halved and seeds scooped out
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon salt plus more, to taste
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or regular chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Teeny pinch of ground cloves
3 cups vegetable broth or water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder or regular chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons crème fraîche (optional, replace with a tiny splash of olive oil for vegan/dairy-free soup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash, cut sides down, on the baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until mostly tender. Let the squash cool for a few minutes, then scoop the flesh into a small bowl and discard the skin. (There might be some bits of squash that aren’t completely cooked, but don’t worry, the rest will cook in the pot with the broth.)
In a medium pot or Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, reserved squash, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon salt, chile powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and cloves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spices are fragrant.
Pour in the vegetable broth or water and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is completely softened.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend the soup in a stand blender, in batches (do not fill your blender past the maximum fill line). Securely fasten the blender’s lid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with remaining batches.
Return the soup to the pot and set it over low heat to keep it warm. Taste the soup and add more salt until the spices really sing, around 1/2 teaspoon for vegetable broth or 1 teaspoon if you used water.
To prepare the garnish: In a small skillet over medium heat, add the pepitas, olive oil, chile powder, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pepitas’ edges are turning lightly golden brown.
Divide the soup among bowls and drizzle a bit of crème fraîche (my crème fraîche was super thick, so I tempered it with a little splash of soup so it would drizzle better) or olive oil on top. Top with a sprinkle of pepitas and serve.
Recipe adapted minimally, with permission, from The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme. Change it up: I bet a small butternut squash or even some delicata squash would be a great substitute for the acorn squash. Shoot for 1 1/2 to 2 pounds squash.
▸ Nutrition Information
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