Sorry oak-lovers, there are no actual acorns in this Acorn Soup. Instead, the sweet fall flavor of acorn squash makes up the base of this savory, creamy soup, accented with other garden vegetables, floral honey, and aromatic garlic. Blended until smooth and silky, enhanced with nutty parmesan, and topped with crispy fried sage, Acorn Soup is an herbaceous and delightful soup for when the nights get cold!

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 3 whole acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, tied into a bundle
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus more, to taste, shaved, for serving

For the crispy sage topping:

  • canola oil, to taste
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • kosher salt or flaky sea salt, to taste

Directions

Step 1 –Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Step 2 –Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 3 –Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 4 –Carefully cut all of the squash in half from stem to base.

Step 5 –Scoop out and discard the stringy core and seeds of the squash.

Step 6 –Arrange the squash halves, cut-side up, on the prepared baking sheet.

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Step 7 –Brush each of the squash halves with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and sprinkle each evenly with 1 teaspoon of the salt.

Step 8 –Roast the squash until the edges begin to wrinkle and the flesh is fork-tender, about 40-50 minutes.

Step 9 –Transfer the squash halves from the oven and allow them to cool.

Step 10 –Scoop out and reserve the flesh of the squash.

Step 11 –In a large Dutch oven or similar sturdy soup pot over medium heat, heat the butter and the remaining olive oil.

Step 12 –Once the butter has melted, add the carrots, the shallot, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper and cook until the shallot is beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes.

Step 13 –Pour 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock into the pan and cook, while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits.

Step 14 –Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 15 –Add the reserved squash flesh, the garlic, and the honey to the veggie mixture and cook, while stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 16 –Add the remaining stock to the pot and stir to combine.

Step 17 –Add the thyme bundle and the bay leaf to the squash mixture.

Step 18 –Increase the heat to medium and bring the soup to a simmer.

Step 19 –Let the soup simmer gently, adjusting the heat as needed and stirring periodically, until the flavors meld together, about 15 minutes.

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Step 20 –Remove and discard the thyme bundle and the bay leaf.

Step 21 –Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth.

Step 22 –Add 1/2 teaspoon of the rubbed sage, the nutmeg, and 1/4 cup of the grated parmesan to the soup and stir to combine.

Step 23 –Taste the soup for seasoning and add the extra salt and the extra pepper, as needed.

Step 24 –In a small skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/8-inch of the canola oil until very hot.

Step 25 –Add 12 of the sage leaves to the hot oil and cook until crispy on both sides, about 15-20 seconds per side.

Step 26 –Carefully drain the sage onto a paper-towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle them with the kosher salt.

Step 27 –Serve the soup garnished with the crispy sage and the extra shaved parmesan.