I opened my front door and walked in, my bag of groceries banging at my side. I was a bit annoyed at the 25 minute wait in the grocery line (thank you Ms. “So How Much Does This Cost…Wait, Can I Put This Aside And Decide If I Want To Buy It Later?”), but all was forgiven when the smell of roasting squash hit my nose. This was definitely the smell of Autumn…and it filled my entire apartment.
One of the things I love most about belonging to a CSA is my introduction to produce I’ve never even heard of before. As I was piling my share into my reusable canvas shopping bag, I came across what looked like a miniature pumpkin and its green twin. I quickly learned they were a red and confection kabocha squash (the confection squash being the green one). Their coloring was very vivid and I must admit I was excited at the chance to photograph them. But I’d never worked with them, let alone tasted them, so I had no clue what I was going to do with them. That was, until I hit up the internet. A quick google search (how did I manage to live almost 30 years without Wikipedia?) revealed that both the red and confection kabocha squashes are in the winter gourds family, even though their peak harvest times fall in the Autumn months. Both have a sweet, nutty flavor and are excellent when roasted.
Since I had a spaghetti and delicata squash leftover from another CSA share, I decided to combine all the squashes to make a roasted winter squash soup. Hence the reason my small apartment had a cozy, warm and subtly sweet aroma permeating every corner of it. I was still trying to figure out the recipe for the soup, but from the smells coming from the oven, I knew whatever I did, the result would be amazing.
Roasted Autumn Squash Soup
Four medium sized autumn squashes (I used a red kabocha, confection kabocha, delicata and spaghetti squash)
32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut the tops off the red and confection kabocha squashes and place them in a large baking pan. Cut the spaghetti and delicata squashes down the middle and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. Place them in the same dish along with the kabocha squashes. Brush all of the squashes with olive oil and generously salt and pepper them. Place the dish in the oven for 15 minutes and then remove the delicata squash (it roasts quicker than the other squashes). Continue roasting the remaining squashes for an additional 35 minutes. Remove all of the squashes from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly before handling.
Once cooled, scoop out the fibrous strands and seeds from the center of the kabocha squashes. Scoop out the meaty flesh of the kabocha squashes and place in a large dutch oven. Do the same for the spaghetti and delicata squashes and add the stock. On medium high heat, bring the squash and stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the squash doesn’t stick to the bottom of the dutch oven. When the squash are very soft and mushy, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to become completely cool. Once cool, blitz the mixture in batches in a blender and return it to the dutch oven. Return the dutch oven to a medium heat and add the heavy cream. Heat the soup back up, stirring occasionally. When the soup is at your desired temperature, turn off the heat and serve it up!