Friday, September 4, 2009

Acorn Squash Soup with Bacon & Squash Seeds

This recipe idea is from Mari over at Once Upon a Plate. She and Monique from La Table de Nana have the most beautiful blogs. I believe they also happen to be friends. A natural kinship as both are brilliantly stylistic people. I often go to their sites for aesthetic inspiration and marvel at how they make everything look so beautiful and effortless. Graceful really. I aspire to be more like them when my blog grows up. In my own way of course.

I however am not graceful like Mari and Monique. My nickname growing up was “Grace”, a sarcastic call to my clumsy ways. Making this soup was just another example of this. Earlier in the morning I had attempted to wrestle open a Champagne bottle for a batch of preserves. Failing, I set the bottle on the counter and settled on Riesling preserves.

As I struggled to slice open a tough acorn squash that evening, the Champagne cork finally blew off with an explosive bang and flew across the room. I was so startled I almost sliced my hand to bits and my panicked Toy Australian Shepherd ran around the room barking his brains out.

I took that as my cue to stop and have a glass of that stubborn Champagne before I finished wrestling the squash open. Perhaps I’ll just have to settle for someday having a bit of style with a little bit of klutz thrown in for good measure. I think being clumsy is here to stay.

2 acorn squash, reserve seeds
Olive oil for basting squash
1 small white onion or half of a large onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons water to deglaze pan (Or Champagne if you have it)
salt & pepper
Fresh grated nutmeg
4 to 5 slices crispy cooked bacon, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Cut squash in half leaving your fingers intact, scrape out and reserve the seeds in cold salted water. Slice the squash into strips leaving on the skin. Place in a foil lined pan and coat the squash with olive oil. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool until you can handle them without burning your fingers off and remove the skin with your fingers.

3. Meanwhile, drain the water from the seeds and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes until toasted and lightly golden brown.

4. In a medium to large pot add the butter and onions. Cook over medium high until the onions look softened a bit. Then turn off the heat.

5. Place the squash, onions, and chicken or vegetable stock in a food processer or blender and process until smooth.

6. Deglaze the pan with 2 Tablespoons of water over medium high heat. Then add the soup and turn the heat to medium. Cover and stir frequently until warmed through. Add salt, pepper, and fresh nutmeg to taste.

7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cooked chopped bacon and toasted acorn squash seeds.

This comforting recipe idea comes from Mari at Once Upon a Plate. Visit this lovely post and beautiful soup picture. I've adapted it somewhat, as she left her recipe open for all of us to suite our own tastes.


Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Oh Laura, I'm so happy you liked it enough to blog about it. Bless your heart!

Are you kidding? Don't be so humble ~ your blog and photography (and writing skills) are an inspiration to me. Always.

Monique is an incredible treasure, isn't she? I love her style, and she is as kind as can be, too!

I HAD to giggle... my brother would tease me with that same nickname "Grace" (for the same reasons!)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Unknown said...

you had me at bacon! the soup looks sooo good. I love creamy squash soups.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Laura, it's too late to help you this time through, but I have a simple technique I use to cut acorn squash that might help next time. I use a baker's bench scraper or my clever and a small hammer. Position the scraper and lightly tap on it with the hammer until it penetrates the shell. I glad you had champagne to calm your frazzeled nerves. It always helps :-).

The Cooking Photographer said...

I enjoyed this a lot Mari. Thank-you for the recipe!

The Cooking Photographer said...

And I'm glad I'm not the only one named "Grace" lol!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Thank-you Danielle!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Omgosh Mary. Thank-you! Never again...

Coleens Recipes said...

What a great taste treat "opener" for this weekends food-fest!!

Jennifer said...

I too am thankful you decided to blog about this... trust me regardless if we think someone will like it or not, someone ALWAYS will be thankful for your recipe. This one for me! It looks so good!
Funny about the nickname ;)

La Table De Nana said...

"Are you kidding? Don't be so humble ~ your blog and photography (and writing skills) are an inspiration to me. Always."

To quote my friend Mari:)

I look at everything you do:)

I wonder too if my little note made it to your friend?

I have an urge to make soup..I can feel it in the air..This is a lovely one..

Iiiii said...

Aren't you suppose (yes you are) to open the squash seeds and eat only the black part?!?

The Cooking Photographer said...

You don't have to. You can if you want. The shells are edible too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe! My friend just gave me two acorn squash and I had no idea what I was going to do with them!

And anything with bacon is awesome!

The Cooking Photographer said...

I will ask him if your note made it Monique. Thank-you for sending it. That means a lot to me, and to him I'm sure!

Natalie said...

This soup looks delicious. It is still a little too hot for acorn squash soup here in Dallas (today was close to 100 afterall), but I am impatiently waiting for Fall!!

Oh and I have a miniture Aussie!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Natalie,

Aww you have one! They are my favorite dogs. I love them so much!


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Lol... sounds like something that would happen to me! :O

I adore soup made from acorn squash... next time you feel like wrestling with one, place it in your impeccably clean sink, resting against the drain - that will hold it stable while you cut it open.

PS - I'm inspired by your blog every time I visit!!!

jada said...

oooh, this looks good--always looking to find the perfect squash soup recipe--I usually use butternut, but perhaps I'll try acorn. Thanks!

Marta said...

What a great dish to bid farewell to the lat few days of summer and gently welcome in fall. Looks deliciously velvety and utterly comforting!

Jamie said...

LOL You are truly too much like me! But look at the result, bandaided hand or not: one gorgeous soup! Love the bacon addition. Mmmm.

Fiesta Saurus Rex said...

The last time I was making squash soup(I believe it must have been last fall) I had an equally clumsy experience.

I think part of the problem is that I never have the right tools in what was then a student kitchen - in this case a large blender and a funnel.

In anycase I ended up blending the squash in tiny little batches and trying to transfer it back and forth was made incredibly messy without a funnel.

The soup was amazing, even if a lot of the squash ended up on the floor.

Jennie said...

I love acorn squash! This looks and sounds delicious! Can't wait to try!

Lo said...

Love the look of this hearty soup -- and what a fine way to make use of all the bits and pieces of the squash. And it's really gorgeous. And graceful.

And I love your blog -- you do a fantastic job of bringing grace to the table... the balance comes with the bit of klutzy... makes us all feel better!

Chef Fresco said...

This looks absolutely amazing! It makes me so ready for fall!

Levi said...

I am linking to this post tomorrow. That is an amazing photo of an amazing looking soup and people need to see it and make it and see your photos.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Wow thank-you! Often my shots just get lost in the clutter.

Unknown said...

May I use this recipe and photo in my next newsletter? I will definitely link back to your blog. My website:
Please contact me personally:

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