Squash soup and other Fall delights

Nothing like squash soup in the fall. I made a batch yesterday that was killah good. There’s something satisfying about it, and the variations are as many as the people that make it. I’ve had it with ginger, anise, curry, cumin, etc. Here’s an approximation of the one I made and feel free to post your own.

2 acorn squash (in honor of election year), seeded and cut up
1 onion, chopped
1 Gala or Fuji apple, cored and cut up
olive oil
Fresh sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup cream or half&half (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash in olive oil and place in a glass baking dish. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan, let cool and remove the skins.

Meanwhile, saute the onion in some butter until tender and sweet. Remove from pan. Add the apple and brown slightly, then add water and cook until soft. In batches, puree the squash, apple, onion, chicken stock, and a couple tablespoons of chopped sage in a blender or processor. Transfer it all to a pot and simmer, adding the cheese and optional cream at the end. Garnish with the following:

1 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
a little salt

Puree all together until smooth. Place a dollop on top of the bowl of soup and top that with additional sage leaves that you have fried in butter until crisp.

I make something similar for Thanksgiving every year - I made it the one year thinking we’d force the kids to eat it, but after that they ask all the time “Is Aunt Zsofia going to make the soup again?” Now THAT is a good review.

Love that squash soup, especially with cumin. But fall/winter for us is Pork Green Chili time. This recipe takes a while, so it’s a good nasty weather, Sunday afternoon type of deal.

The recipe varies each time. General outline:

.5 - 1 lb bacon, diced (start it off right! You can also use salt pork.)
1 pork tenderloin, cut in 1-2 inch chunks
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I should call it meat stew, I suppose.)
2 large onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T chipotle in adobo, pureed into paste
Chicken broth

A ton of green chiles, roasted, chopped [This is the trick. If you can get the frozen bagged kind, use 4, 1/2 mild 1/2 hot. I haven’t tried canned, but I expect it would take 6-8 cans. We get them frozen in small buckets from a friend in food service.]

1 32 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen has these)
2 jars or 4 cans salsa verde (or fresh tomatillos, pureed)
Mexican oregano, cumin, salt
2 32 oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed

Throw that bacon in a big old dutch oven or large pot. Cook until crispy, drain off some of the fat.
Toss in the pork. Brown it, but it doesn’t have to be completely cooked through. Drain off some of the fat.
Add the onions. Cook until softened.
Garlic and chipotle next, let cook for 5 minutes or so.
Add some chicken broth (a couple of T) and cook it down a bit.
Add the chiles, tomatoes and salsa verde.
Heat until bubbling.
Add the chicken breasts - poach them in the stew (on high) for @ 1/2 hour, or until an instant read therm. reads 160. Remove from stew and shred when cool.
Add oregano, cumin and salt to taste. Also a bit of vinegar if you want more tang.
Dump in the hominy and shredded chicken. We usually add some cheddar now, too.
Let that sucker simmer, then cool to room temp, bag it up and freeze it!

Serve with grated cheddar and chopped cilantro.

I’m doing up a pork roast with butternut squash, red potatoes, mushrooms, onions and carrots for my co-workers Friday night.

I usually use some of the “sweet” spices in combination with garlic and cracked black pepper and put it all in a cast iron dutch oven to bake.

I’m also thinking baked Granny Smith apples over vanilla ice cream for desert.

That should take care of at least two of four hungry guys. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh, I made the Hungarian stew from the latest Cook’s Illustrated on Saturday. It was awesome.

If you put some sweet potato in a squash soup, it really oranges-up the color, too!

I made a killer beef stew a week ago and finished it off the other day. It just gets better with age.

I should mention that the squash soup (or any soup, really) is complemented nicely if you brush olive oil on some slices of dense, whole grain bread and pop them under the broiler until browned.

I love squash soup. It’s one of my favorite fall treats.

When I roast my squash, I simply cut it in half, seed it, spray it lightly in oil, and roast it cut side down for 45 minutes to an hour depending on size. I also like to put a peeled and quartered shallot and a couple of peeled and lightly crushed cloves of garlic under the squash, in the seed cavity, to roast and caramelize at the same time. Then when it’s done I just scoop the flesh into the food processor, along with the shallot and garlic.

I make it a few different ways, depending on my mood. I do one like the OP’s description. I do another with coconut milk and a dab of curry paste. My current favorite uses heavy cream and a small splash of sherry vinegar. Mmm.

I won’t be home tonight, but I think I know what I’m making tomorrow…

I came across a recipe for roasted kabocha squash with cumin salt that I want to make in the next few days. The recipe technique calls for “partially peeled” kabocha - does anyone know what exactly is meant by “partially peeled” ?

I must confess I’ve never had squash soup (that I know of).

I was looking at the lovely squash at the supermarket on Sunday however. Chefguy, you might just have started something at my house!

I highly recommend using either butternut or acorn squash or even just pumpkin (or a combo). Some squash just doesn’t lend itself to soup very well.

I am NOT a chef, or even much of a cook, so if even I can make a yummy butternut squash, anyone can! I based it on a Weight Watcher recipe & beefed it up a bit:

  • 4 lbs/2 large butternut squash - halved & placed cut side down in a baking dish with:
  • 1 yelllow onion - chopped roughly in eighths (in retrospect, a bit too much - the recipe called for Vidalia, which would probably have gone better - but I had the yellow handy)
  • 4 small apples (Gala) - halved
  • about a half-inch of water & a couple of bullion cubes.

Bake for about 45 min – let cool if you’re patient (I wasn’t) and scoop out the squash flesh. Place the squash, onion chunks & apples in the blender in smallish batches with enough water to blend smoothly (maybe a 1/2 cup per blenderful?) Mix in 1/4 tsp nutmeg as you’re blending. Makes about 4-5 servings of 2 cups each.

About 4 WW points.

Try jazzing that up with a dash or two of nutmeg or cumin. Adds no calories or points.

That recipe has 1/4 tsp of nutmeg (listed in the directions).

My wife just made your recipe, Chefguy, and I gotta say, YUM! It was extremely tasty.

I’m a big fan of the orange soups: this, sweet potato, and carrot. They’re all delicious. I like them especially with Indian curry (or Indian spices, if you wanna avoid the powder) and with cumin. Sometimes I’ll add orange juice to a sweet potato soup. Good times.

And the idea of eating it with toasted whole-grain bread is right on. Add to that, as my wife did, a salad with toasted walnuts and pickled onions, and you’re talking a meal.


Alright, I’m trying to make this and I have a couple of questions.

First of all, I used buttercup squash. It was right there between the butternut and the acorn, so I thought “why not”?

But it’s taking much longer than 30 minutes to get tender in the oven. I’m assuming that’s ok. Is it supposed to be the consistency of, say, a baked sweet potato? Or is that too soft?

Just how thin is the end result supposed to be? Or does that matter much?

Butternut Squash Soup

32 oz butternut squash
3 cups fat free vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/16 – 1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 large red onion
4 anjou or bartlett pears (or a combination of both)
2/3 cups dry white wine
pepper to taste
lowfat yogurt
crumbled, toasted walnuts


Peel, seed and cube the squash (or buy pre-cut from Trader Joe’s)
Peel and slice the onion
Peel, core and thinly slice the pears
Crumble walnuts, if whole


In a large pot, combine the squash, vegetable broth, water, cinnamon stick, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 40 minutes).

Place crumbled walnuts in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes (until lightly browned). Set aside.

Melt the butter or margarine in a large pan. Add onions and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to caramelize.

Add the pears to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the wine to the pears and onions, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the squash and discard.

Add the pear and onion mixture (including all the liquid) to the squash.

Puree everything in batches until smooth.

Reheat slightly before serving, if necessary. Add pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with a dollop (about a tablespoon) of low fat yogurt and sprinkle with crumbled toasted walnuts.

Printable version

It doesn’t really matter how soft it gets, since you’re going to puree it anyway. Some squash takes longer to get that way. Acorn is very fast, but carnival takes longer, for instance. It’s not a thin soup, but that’s really up to you.

I like applesauce in the fall. So last night I made some strawberry-cinnamon applesauce. Easiest thing ever, and really freakin’ good.

Pare some apples and slice them right into the pan, with just a very little bit of water. It’s good if you can combine varieties (I used half Rome and half Macs).
Slice the tops off some strawberries, half them, and toss them into the pot.
Add one stick of cinnamon.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a while.
Remove the lid, sugar to taste, and cook a while longer.
If you like, you can force the fruit through a medium or large-mesh sieve, but you don’t have to.
Put the sauce in a bowl, cover, and chill.

I’m very fond of a dish I found few weeks ago on allrecipes.com for an apple butter pork tenderloin. You put the tenderloin a covered baking dish with some apple juice or cider and cook it about halfway. Then you pull it out and smear it with apple butter that’s had extra cinnamon and cloves added, recover it, and finish it up. It’s insanely good, especially with some baked sweet potatoes or roasted squash.

Thanks! It turned out that with a bit of cooking and addition of two more apples (at my daughter’s request) it thickened up nicely. She liked the soup but I thought it was a bit onion-y. I think my onion was too big. The squash themselves were very good.

Heavens, that sounds good! I really like the recipes on allrecipies.com . It’s where I got my caramel corn recipie.