My mom recently sent Rob and me an amazing housewarming gift: a KitchenAid blender set with interchangeable parts–a whisk, a chopper, and an immersion blender. Tonight, after a wonderful Labor Day weekend away, I put the immersion blender to use to make acorn squash and cilantro soup (recipe written out at bottom of the post).
Last week we went to the local farmers’ market for the first time and picked up, among other fruits and veggies, an acorn squash. I hadn’t yet had a chance to cook with it but fortunately they keep well. When I pulled it out of the fridge tonight, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it–except that I didn’t want to have to go to the grocery store for ingredients because we’d just arrived back home from Sonoma. After flipping through the Joy of Cooking and the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, I decided soup was the answer.
Using several recipes in the books as a guide, I started on my own, invented-on-the-fly recipe by cooking the squash, covered in a bowl with about an inch of water in the bottom, in the microwave. In the meantime, I heated two cups of water with a cube of chicken bouillon in a pot then added 1/3 cup of heavy cream (which was conveniently in the fridge from several failed attempts at scones last week).
Next, I scooped the squash out of its peel and plopped it and a tablespoon of fresh cilantro from my herb garden into the pot with the liquids. Using my immersion blender (hooray!) I mixed it all together. (I originally planned on using only half the squash in this soup and then using the second half to make a beer-squash soup as well but decided that this soup needed more than just the half squash. Thus, beer-squash to come!)
Finally, I stirred in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and it was finished. The soup was a very nice yellow (almost appearing as more of a corn soup than a squash soup) and the cilantro was just the right strength, a bright highlight to the creamy squash base. The soup might possibly need a bit more salt but I’m going to see if the cilantro flavor grows stronger over night and then go from there.
Acorn Squash and Cilantro Soup by Miyoko Ohtake
1 acorn squash (or really just use whatever kind of squash you want)
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
Cook squash then scoop contents into medium to large pot. Add chicken stock, heavy cream, and cilantro. Blend in the pot using an immersion blender or transfer to a stand-along blender and puree then transfer back to pot. add salt and pepper, warm to serving temperature and enjoy. Great to make in advance then rewarm to allow flavors to mix and the cilantro flavor to strengthen.