This mellow, silky smooth roasted squash soup has just enough fruit to give it a sweet lift. It is drizzled with a tangy sauce made of the mildest blue cheese and topped with toasted squash seeds.
The sauce is a quick, flavourful tip I learned from my talented friend, chef Castro Boateng. If you’re lucky enough to live on Vancouver Island, chef Castro offers courses from the convenience of your home. What could be more fun?
Originally published in EAT Magazine‘s Nov/Dec 2012 issue
■ 2 medium acorn squash, quartered and seeds removed (the seeds can be toasted and used as a soup garnish if desired)
■ 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
■ 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
■ 1 apple, preferably Golden Delicous, peeled, cored, and diced
■ 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
■ 1 onion, peeled and diced
■ 1 large ripe pear, preferably Bartlett or Bosc, peeled, cored, and diced
■ 4 cups roasted chicken stock, preferably homemade
■ Kosher salt
■ 3 1/2 ounces of mild blue cheese
■ 1 cup 35% whipping cream
■ toasted pumpkin or squash seeds, if desired
Preheat the oven to 360°F.
In a medium bowl, toss the carrots in 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and place them on a foil-lined baking tray. Brush the squash with the remaining oil and place on the same tray. Roast the vegetables for about an hour, turning occasionally. Remove the vegetables when they can easily be pierced with a fork. When the squash has cooled, scoop out the pulp and discard the skin.
Melt the butter in a soup pan over medium heat and add the diced apple. Cook the apple until it turns soft and just starts to colour. Add the chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent.To a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the roasted carrots and squash, sautéed apples and onions, diced pear, 2 cups of the chicken stock and a couple generous pinches of Kosher salt. Process until smooth, adding enough remaining stock to achieve the desired consistency. Taste the soup and check the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
If you prefer a fine-textured soup, pour the puréed soup through a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and reheat. Serve in heated bowls with a generous swirl of blue cheese cream (recipe follows) and a few toasted squash seeds, if desired.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream with crumbled blue cheese. Gently cook on low heat until the blue cheese melts. Be careful not to boil the mixture.
Rinse the squash seeds to remove the fibres. Toast the cleaned seeds on a lightly oiled baking sheet in a 350°F until crisp and lightly golden, turning occasionally. Sprinkle with salt while still warm.
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