Acorn squash are tender, sweet and ideal for simple, hearty soups. They take less than 10 minutes to steam in the microwave, though you can also roast them. In this version, miso adds salinity and depth while maple syrup brings out the squash’s sweet side. That’s counterbalanced by a smoked paprika oil, drizzled over each bowl. If you don’t have acorn squash, you can use butternut, honey nut, kuri or kabocha squash, though they may take longer to cook.
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Active time: 15 mins; Total time: 1 hour
Storage Notes: Leftover soup may be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 5 days.
Servings: 1 – 2 2 – 4 4 – 8 6 – 12
2 – 4
Tested size: 2-4 servings; makes 3 1/2 cups of soup.
One (2- to 3-pound) acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
One (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk, shaken (may substitute with lite coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons shiro miso (white miso), plus more as needed
1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Start by steaming the squash in the microwave: Arrange the halves, cut side down, in a microwave-safe bowl or casserole. Add a splash of water, and cook on HIGH for 7 to 10 minutes, or until very soft. Cool for 10 minutes. (You may also roast the squash: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Brush the cut sides of squash lightly with oil and arrange the halves cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft.)
In a medium pot, combine the coconut milk or vegetable stock, miso and maple syrup. Using a soup spoon, scoop the squash out of its skin and add it to the pot. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Taste, and season with more miso and/or maple syrup, if desired. Set the pot over high heat and bring the soup to a low boil, then decrease the heat to low and keep warm. (You may also puree the soup in a standing blender. Remove the vent in the blender lid, and loosely cover it with a towel, to allow the steam to escape. If the soup seems too thick, it may be thinned out with water. If, when scooping, some of the skin gets into the blender, that’s fine — acorn squash skin is soft and edible.)
In a small skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil until it shimmers. Stir in the paprika, and immediately remove from the heat.
Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the smoked paprika oil before serving.
From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza
Tested by Ann Maloney.
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