Fall, is undeniably my favorite season. I am truly in love with this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s the way the sun sits lower in the sky and casts a beautiful shadow on everything, the gorgeous changing of the leaves, the crisp air, the abundance of orange hues everywhere I turn, or the food I get to make. I don’t think its any one of these, but more a combination of all.
Fall is in the air and pumpkins are all around. Pumpkin pie, candy, soup, empanadas, cookies, cake, and butter, yup I love it all. Last weekend I was at a pumpkin fest with my children and hubby and we walked through a corn maze, saw all sorts of strikingly gorgeous fall flowers, pumpkins in every size, shape, and color, and I even tasted some pumpkin wine and pumpkin bratwurst. We all had fun walking through the corn maze and purposely tried getting lost.
As usual, my surroundings here in Germany always seem to be a major inspiration for me in the kitchen. I picked up a variety of pumpkins and acorn squash and decided to give the ideas in my head a try. Fortunately, we also had some friends from the states visiting this week, Amy and Keely who got to be the official tasters and both gave the recipe two thumbs up.
What I loved most about this recipe is the thick texture created by the acorn squash when combined with the pumpkin puree. If you like your soup a little thinner, try adding more chicken stock. The coconut oil used to caramelize the shallots and garlic reminded me of Thai coconut soup, which I love. The addition of the salty Parmesan cheese was a delicious contrast to the sweet piloncillo and tomato juice. I’m glad pumpkins will be around for a while because we are definitely having this soup again. This recipe makes a hearty meal all on its own just add your favorite bread. I happened to find some delicious wheat rolls topped with pumpkin seeds.
Have you ever tried pumpkin soup?
Pumpkin, Acorn Squash, and Tomato Soup
Yield: 8 servings
1 pumpkin, about the size of the acorn squash
1 acorn squash
2 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons piloncillo, crushed
4 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Dash ground nutmeg
½ cup crème fraîche
1 ½ tablespoons honey
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, grated
Basil, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut open the pumpkin and acorn squash and remove pulp and seeds from the center. Cut pumpkin and squash into large pieces. Place all the pieces on a cookie sheet. Cook for about 1 hour or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow time for it to cool. Once it has cooled remove the pumpkin meat from the skin and mash with a potato masher.
While pumpkin and squash is baking cut an X at the bottom of the tomatoes, just deep enough to go through the tomato skin. Carefully place in a pot with boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove from the hot water and place in a separate bowl with cold water and ice. Let tomatoes sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Remove from the cold water and remove the skins. Puree the tomatoes in a blender until very smooth and strain. Reserve the liquid.
In a large pot heat the coconut oil. Add shallots and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add piloncillo and tomato juice and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
Add the chicken stock, pumpkin and acorn squash meat, salt, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash all the ingredients.
Add crème fraîche and honey and stir until combined and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow for it to cool. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. If serving immediately return to pot and heat until warm. Add salt to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over soup. Garnish with 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan and basil.
Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica