Recipe: Caramelized Delicata Squash Soup

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I received delicata squash from my CSA a few weeks ago and immediately envisioned serving soup in them. It would be a great first course for Thanksgiving. The maple syrup, apple and rosemary play so magnificently off one another. For a vegan soup, use soy-based butter or all olive oil.

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Servings: 4
Time: About 20 minutes active; 90 minutes total

2 delicata squash, about 1.5 pounds total, halved with seeds removed
1 tart apple, like Granny Smith, quartered
4 teaspoons butter
4 teaspoons maple syrup
2 8″ rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small leeks, about 3/4-1 cup, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups stock

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a baking dish, lay squash halves cut side up and apple quarters. In each squash boat, put 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon maple syrup and half a rosemary sprig. Roast for 30 minutes, remove apple to cool, and then chop coarsely. Raise heat to 375 degree and roast squash 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and let squash cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile in a medium pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook 5 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to low and add chopped, cooked apple, garlic, salt and pepper, bay leaf, and cinnamon.

3. When squash is cool enough to handle, pour butter-syrup mixture into soup along with rosemary sprigs. Then carefully scoop out the squash flesh leaving the rind in tact. Add flesh to soup pot with stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Puree with hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Ladle soup into squash boats, and serve hot.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.