I've been working my way through a large CSA box of Winter Squash over the past few weeks, mostly making soups and grain dishes out of the 5 or 6 heirloom varieties that we have on hand. This past year, we didn't have space to grow squash ourselves, and so we arranged for a Fall Vegetable only CSA with our local organic farm. Next year, though, space has already been set aside, so I've been sure to rinse off all the seeds and label them for planting. Here's the recipe I use for pretty much every root vegetable soup I make, like the Acorn Squash & Apple Cider Soup above (with a homemade popover , leftover from JP's mom's birthday brunch this morning!)
Squash & Root Vegetable Soup
1 squash scrubbed, pierced with a fork, & baked at 375 for one hour, set aside to cool
Diced Root Vegetables to saute in olive oil over med. high heat for 5 -10 minutes:
1 med. onion
3 cloves garlic
1 sweet potato
I then add about 1 T nutmeg, 1 1/2 T thyme, and 1 t cayenne with 2 t salt and mix well. Next I add 1 - 2 diced apples, the squash (scraped out of it's skin) 1 Qt. vegetable stock, and about 1 1/2 C of apple cider. After letting the mixture come to a slight boil, I turn off the heat and puree in a food processor in batches, returning the smooth mixture to the pot. Lastly, I adjust the texture by adding a bit more cider, water, and sometimes a small amount of cream or half and half if I have any around. Then of course, I pour them into small glass pint jars, and they're off to the freezer for a perfect lunch with a hoophouse salad.