Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin-and-Acorn Squash Soup

Sadly, this past Saturday was the last week of my market basket subscription. (Moment of silence, please.) I have enjoyed the variety of produce in my basket throughout the 18-week season. It's also been fun coming up with new recipes that feature the fruit and vegetables. P.E.E.R., the organization that sponsors the farmers market, has a harvest dinner fund-raiser each year that features market produce; in the past a fantastic pumpkin soup has been served and this was my attempt to re-create that. The basket had three small pumpkins and last week it had two acorn squash, so I decided to combine the two in the soup. The most difficult thing about cooking with gourds is peeling them. I decided to avoid that task by cutting the pumpkins and squash in half and then roasting them. After they cooled, I used a spoon to scoop out the interior of the pumpkin and squash, leaving the peel behind. Much easier! This soup was perfect for an early fall supper. I served it with focaccia bread croutons. Enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin-and-Acorn Squash Soup
3 small pumpkins, cut in half and seeded
2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 (32-oz.) box chicken broth
1 cup cream or half-and-half or milk
1/2 to 1 tsp. tarragon
Fresh goat cheese

1. Place pumpkins and squash on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool (about 30 minutes).
3. Sauté onion in hot oil 10 minutes or until tender in a Dutch oven. Use a spoon to scoop out interior of pumpkins and squash into Dutch oven. Add in chicken broth and cream; add in tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Simmer until ready to serve. Ladle into bowls, and top with a crumble of fresh goat cheese.

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