Monday, September 5, 2011

spicy acorn squash soup

This rich soup is delicious, easy and quick. It tastes like it cooked all day, but microwaving the acorn squash saves about an hour of cooking time. Another time-saver is that you do not have to cut the vegetables neatly, as the soup will be pureed before serving.

1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
1/4 cup warm water (plus a little more if necessary)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 quart chicken or veg. broth (we used low sodium chicken)
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp fresh chives, snipped
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each)

Place acorn squash halves cut side down in a glass dish, add 1/4 cup warm water. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check to see if water has evaporated, add a little more water if needed. Microwave another 5-7 minutes, or until flesh of acorn squash becomes softened.

In a medium soup pan sautee celery, carrot, onion, garlic in olive oil until tender (about 3-5 minutes). With a spoon, scoop the squash into the vegetable mixture and add broth, chipotle, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook over medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes (mixture will be lumpy). Remove soup from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Place soup in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to soup pan to heat for serving. Ladle soup into small mugs or bowls, garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and snipped chives.