After a weekend with these guys:
pulling up these things:out here:…not to mention my visit to Yellow Springs Farm for some tantalizing aged Nubian goat cheese or the upkeep I was forced to perform in my own garden or the grueling two hours of yoga practice.
I was exhausted.
But, I had emerged with two beautiful acorn squash – c/o the bounty of my Aunt Susan’s beautiful Chester County garden.
This, I knew, would help make Monday’s dinner easy peasy.
My slippers made their first appearance since the winter recently, so I’ve been craving roast-y. But who wants to wait for squash to roast after work on a Monday? Not me.
So Sunday night I pulled that nifty “throwing shit in the oven for later” trick.
After chopping and scooping, I doused ’em with non-stick spray and shoved them in the oven:While I was waiting for them to do their thing, I decided to put my blender to work and make some raw beet soup and blueberry/banana/collard green/oat smoothie for lunch and breakfast the next day:Yum! And then, they were ready:As an aside, I recommend that you always use your “throwing shit in the over for later” time wisely. On this occasion, I added some rooftop eggplants and the seeds from the acorn squash themselves:Got it all packed away in the fridge and DONE.
When Monday rolled around, it was smooth sailing.
Gather:Chop:Brown:Simmer:Blend:Toast:DINNER IS SERVED (with greek yogurt, chive, and those poor acorn squash’s own seeds):This soup was even tastier than it looks. Add that to gluten-free, nutrition dense, mineral rich and autumnally warm — what’s not to love? Give this early onset slipper-season soup a go.
Tamil-Spiced Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
vegan, vegetarian, gluten free
- 2 small acorn squash
- 1/2 large sweet potato
- 2 tsp fresh ginger
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 small hot pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tart apple (I used Ginger Gold)
- 2 1/2 cups stock (vegetable, chicken, turkey – pick your poison)
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp madras curry powder
- 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- ROAST: Cut each acorn squash in half, scoop seeds (reserve), place on foil-lined baking tray, coat with non-stick spray (or olive oil, if you prefer) and roast at 400 degrees for between 30 and 40 minutes. This can be done a day or two in advance – just store, properly contained, in the fridge.
- While you are roasting your acorn squash, throw their seeds in there as well. It will only take these 5 minutes or so to become crunchy. Reserve the roasted seeds for soup topping.
- CHOP: Cut sweet potato into chunks. Place in microwave safe bowl with a small amount of water. Nuke until softened (2-4 minutes). Scoop the flesh from the roasted acorn squash into the same bowl.
- Chop onion and apple (don’t worry about pieces being small or regular – as they’ll all be blended anyway!) and combine.
- Chop the garlic, ginger and pepper and combine.
- Combine the spices.
- BROWN: Heat a large pot and coat with non-stick spray (or olive oil – practitioners choice). Add onion and apple and saute until softened, about 5-8 minutes).
- Meanwhile, place your spices in a frying pan over low heat. Keep them moving around until they become deliciously fragrant, then remove from heat (don’t wash the pan – you’ll use to re-toast your seeds!).
- Add the garlic, ginger and pepper to the onion mix. Saute another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the toasted spices and combine.
- SIMMER: Add squash, potato, almond milk and stock, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and leave, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes (or until it reaches a consistency you like). Remove from heat.
- BLEND: Two options here: I like to use my immersion blender (best kitchen gadget I have ever bought), but you can also puree in batches in a normal blender or food processor. Keep going until the soup is creamy and smooth. If it too watery, return to heat and cook down to desired consistency. If it is too thick, add additional stock.
- TOAST: Add your pre-roasted acorn squash seeds to the pan in which you toasted your spices. Give a quick spray with non-stick, toss and toast until they begin to pop.
- SERVE: As I’m a “ph-egan” who happens to have chives growing on my roof, I served the soup with greek yogurt, chives and the toasted seeds. But soy yogurt, no yogurt, cilantro, etc. would all work here.