; Supermarket Serenade: Carnival and Acorn Squash Soup

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Carnival and Acorn Squash Soup

Check out this squash! I love all the different squash in the supermarket in the fall. This one that I found is called Carnival Squash. Named for its fabulous colors, this pumpkin shaped squash has orange colored flesh and a taste very similar to butternut squash.
With the weather getting cooler by the second, I had a hankering for some warm soup and my beautiful squash find seemed like the perfect starting point. I diced the squash to roast it, but in retrospect (given the fact that I nearly severed my fingers several times) I probably should have just halved it, drizzled it with the oil, syrup, salt and pepper and roasted it, because it was a devil to cut....it was hard...it made cutting butternut squash seem like slicing butter. But I do prefer getting a "crusty" caramelized texture on the squash so I suppose it was worth the extra effort and risk of injury. (Sadly, unlike butternut squash, I could not find precut carnival or acorn squash at the supermarket)

For the broth I used a new Swanson cooking stock (which quite honestly I found there to be little difference in taste from regular Swanson chicken broth, but whatever...I can say I've tried it now.)
For seasoning, I went Indian (and for those who know me that's really exotic for me). Garam Masala which is a warm and peppery combination of cloves, cardomom, peppers and nutmeg is popular in Indian foods. It is, I think, a perfect blend with the earthy flavors of the squash. Curry powder would be a natural addition here, but I'm not going to get too exotic all at once. I bought my Garam Masala at the Penzey's Spices in Grand Central Station, but I found a great recipe to make your own right here.

Carnival and Acorn Squash Soup

1 Carnival Squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
1 Acorn Squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
1 medium carrot, large diced
1 celery stalk, large diced
4 shallots, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons Garam Masala

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread vegetables in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with the oil and the syrup and sprinkle with the pepper and salt; stir to completely coat the vegetables. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.

Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and process until smooth adding some of the broth if needed to smooth. Spoon the pureed mixture into a medium saucepan, stir in the remaining broth and the white wine; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and the Garam Masala. Season with additional salt to taste.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Happy Birthday to my baby!! I can't believe she is 12...where have all the years gone? She actually liked my soup even though it had squash in it...ewww.


Barbara Bakes said...

Happy Birthday - what a beautiful daughter you have!

Prudy said...

Oh that pretty little preteen of yours! That's a great picture of her. It looks like she's on the cusp of growing up. Have a bowl of that soup and try not to cry! That soup really does look phenomenal!

That Girl said...

I love fall squashes! I'm making a butternut and acorn squash soup within the next week or so.

Jenny said...

Veronica, your daughter is just a little cutie pie! Happy B-day to your baby. Your soup looks perfect in your cute soup bowls, mmm!

The Inexperienced Foodie said...

Tell your daughter Happy Birthday!
That soup looks really good I like that you added the sunflower seeds to add texture.

Esi said...

The carnival squash look so festive! Happy birthday to your daughter :)

Grace said...

aw, happy birthday to your daughter! she's the only thing lovlier than your soup. :)

Allie said...

Hope she had a wonderful birthday, she's so grown up now! Love your soup and can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

You're daughter is adorable. I loved that age.

Your soup looks good too. Your pictures are great!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Next year you'll have to have the blow out party for the TEENAGER! That soup looks so good. My wrist still aches from chopping the butternut squash though.

Lisa said...

Great soup! I always almost chop my fingers off when cutting squash. Happy birthday to your cutie!

Mary said...

What a beautiful young lady! Your soup sounds really good.

~Trish~ said...

Awe happy birthday to your daughter! Thanks for stopping by my Kansas blog :)

Robin Sue said...

Boy you are just having all the celebrations this week. Happy Birthday to your baby!! The soup looks great too!

Birdie said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter she is really cute.

The soup looks great, I always see the different kinds of squash in the store but never know what to do with them.

When it gets cooler here (Florida) I'll put this soup on our menu

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Happy b'day to your daughter! At 12 liking soup is a plus! I'll email you the cookie chart right now!