That’s Shallotta Flavor!

January 8, 2010

 The acorn squash has recently become one of my favorites veggies.  I love the warm color and almost anything it’s served with (even just solo) is so comforting.  So I couldn’t resist making this Roasted Acorn Squash Soup when I saw Guy Fieri make it the other day on the Food Network.  The shallots really stand out in this soup and the pistachio crostinis are a suprising (and tasty!) touch.  This dish is the epitome of comfort food. 

Mmmmmmmmm...

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Pistachio Crostinis

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 6 shallots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, in all
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use bullion cubes and water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage, dry
  • 1 teaspoon savory
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • French bread
  • Pistachios, crushed

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a diced shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead. 

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. 

For an extra touch, toast slices of French bread.  Slather with butter and sprinkle with pistachios – toast for another minute or so until the butter melts.  Place one piece of toasted bread in the middle of each bowl of soup – delicious!

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