Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Roasted Acorn Squash and Kale Soup

Posted by fourclankitchen on January 25, 2010


I find vegetables in the squash family a little mealy with flavors teetering between being sweet and bland. The typical recipe for a squash prep calls for enhancing the sweetness of the squash by smothering it in butter and sugar (and some sweet spices). But another way to enhance a squash’s flavor is to cure it of its blandness by adding spices, particularly a little heat. Or you could do both and push it into another dimension by roasting it in the oven prior to whatever prep you have in mind. Here I want to describe a kale acorn squash soup which retains the basic composition of a broth based soup, but has been kicked up a few notches with a combination of Indian/Mexican spices and sugar.

So here is how you do it. Roast the acorn squash a day or two ahead. If you do this, ahead of time, this will be a no more work than any other weekday dinner prep. In fact do a couple squashes, scoop out the flesh and freeze some portion of the flesh until further use.

So you’ve got your squash all roasted up. Start the soup. Heat an oil-butter mix and sauté some whole spices (I used cinnamon, cumin, fennel). Add ginger, garlic, onions, celery- cook briefly. Then add kale and allow it to soften. Add the roasted squash puree and sauté a little bit longer. Add broth, water salt and cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Mix until everything is blended. Cover and cook for about 5-10 min.

Ingredients:

1 ½ small acorn squash.
1 medium sized onion
3 ribs of celery
1 bunch kale
2 tbs. oil
2 tbs. butter
4 cloves garlic
½ ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin pwd.
¼- ½ tsp. cinnamon
salt to taste
2 tsp sugar or to taste
4 cup chicken broth
1 cup water

Roasting acorn squash:

Heat oven to 350˚F. Halve 2 acorn squashes, scoop out the seeds, and rub the cut surfaces with oil, kosher salt and cayenne pepper (you could use paprika if you dont want the heat). Roast for an hour or until a knife inserted into the flesh glides through it easily. Cool slightly and scoop out the flesh with a largish spoon. Save some portion of it (I used half a squash for making a ravioli-pea-squash dinner and used the rest for this soup).

Chop onions, celery and mince ginger and garlic in the food processor. You could do the onions and celery together and the ginger and garlic together. Rinse and roughly chop the kale into 1” strips. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy bottomed pan (a Dutch oven is ideal). Add the fennel, the cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick and sauté till fragrant. Add the onions and celery and cook till softened-about 5-7 min at medium-high heat. Then add the Kale and sauté till kale is just beginning to soften- another 5 minutes. Add the squash and mix ingredients thoroughly. Then add the water and broth and the powdered spices (cinnamon, paprika, cumin) and sugar. Cover and cook for 5-10 min till soup comes to a low boil. Adjust the salt and sugar and add a few grinds of pepper. Serve with a carbo of your choice and a salad.

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