roasted acorn squash two ways ~ as a creamy soup and with smoked gouda and fresh basil

I don’t talk much about squash. I don’t crave it, I don’t think it’s “been too long” since I’ve last had it… Let’s just say it’s not a staple in my marriage. With that though, I don’t treat it carelessly when we do buy it and I’ve worked really hard to get this right. I decided to cut the squash in half and treat each half completely differently but starting with the same initial prep of roasting.

Firstly, soup. I’ve mentioned the Philips Soup Maker before (see below link for direct message), and I cannot stress its capability enough. In this case, I made a roasted acorn squash soup with sweet onion, artichoke hearts, potatoes and cashews in a beef broth base. Before serving, I drizzled some sesame seed oil, added some grated parmesan and fresh basil.

Philips Soup Maker

Secondly, I made a typical roasted acorn squash but, I made small slits all the way through the squash so the sesame oil could seep in, added smoked sea salt and black pepper, cooking till it’s soft. Before plating, reheated a bit after topping with smoked gouda, grated parmesan and fresh basil. Drizzled with sesame oil.

There’s a vast versatility to this squash but it isn’t everyone’s favorite. Most people I’ve asked prefer spaghetti or butternut squash. I am NO fan of cutting into a butternut squash and spaghetti squash’s preparations are a bit limited. Then again, I usually root for the underdog so, here we go with the acorn squash recipe.

You will need:

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

  • Acorn squash (one)
  • Sweet onion (one)
  • Cashews (you’re only using one or two handfuls)
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper (we use smoked sea salt)
  • Grated parmesan
  • Artichoke hearts (canned, quarted or whole)
  • Potatoes (we prefer a starchier potato in this soup, not red, russet or sweet potatoes)
  • Sesame oil (smallest size is fine)

Roasted Acorn Squash

  • Acorn squash (depending on how many you are feeding, being that there’s one squash per person for the whole meal or, you can just make this recipe and use half)
  • Grated parmesan
  • Sliced smoked gouda
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper (we use smoked sea salt)
  • Basil (fresh and dry – fresh is optional)
  • Sesame oil (smallest size is fine; can use the same you purchased for the soup)

Prepping the squash: In order to not frustrate yourself into drop-kicking the squash while trying to cut into it, you will not be able to cut through the whole thing. Just know this ahead of time and no one will get hurt. If it’s too tough through the middle, microwave it a bit (5-7) minutes and it’s been said to soften it. I have never tried this, I just find a way into this vegetable and cut as far around it as I can, then snap it in two. Take a spoon and carve out the inside’s seeds and what I refer to as pulp.

Then take your knife and make small slits everywhere, all over the squash so that your sesame oil can seep into it.

Around the edges, inside… All around it. Then put your sesame oil in, use your salt and pepper and finish with your dried basil.

You will see a pooling of the oil but that’s okay. Acorn squash typically isn’t known for its flavor; you’ll need to have that oil and a lot of seasonings. Preheat your oven at 400 degrees and cook the squash for 50 minutes. The sesame oil and basil will perfume your kitchen like you won’t believe. I try to make sure I have something cooking when my husband comes home for that reason (insert reference to “Clueless” here).

When the squash is done, let it sit out to cool enough to touch. Then, run your knife along the outter edge of the one 1/2 squash and then use a spoon to scoop one of your squash’s meat into either your soup maker or your stock pot. Cut up some potatoes (you can choose how many, based on the type you purchased. I like quite a bit – typically three medium sized yellow potatoes or six baby yellows), throw in some artichoke hearts and some handfuls of cashews. I only had a half of a sweet onion, and I find that usually enough. Heat with your beef broth base.

If you’re using your stock pot, when you find the cashews and the potatoes soft enough to blend, go ahead and do that carefully, and then add your salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using the soup maker, it will be done in 18 minutes or less and stay hot for 40 minutes.

The other acorn squash will have cooled considerably by now, so when you go to serve it you will need to reheat it. Rip up some smoked gouda (I used one slice however, I’ve been told less isn’t more in this case; we love cheese). Coat the outside edges of the squash with the grated parmesan and put some chopped fresh basil in the center of the squash.

Reheat at 325 / 350 for 12-15 minutes (or until heated through with the cheese having mostly melted). Drizzle with sesame oil to give some sheen and a bit more moisture right before you eat.

You can see the cheese and basil come together in the middle and on the outside. The smell is fantastic.

The soup is a simple serving with just the creamy golden soup, a drizzle of sesame oil and some cheese and basil. You can omit the fresh basil on the soup if you’d like, taste it separately before serving and see if you like it. The finishing oil of the sesame really brings out the nutty flavors of the roasted squash and cashews.

We paired this meal with a red wine, a bit on the sweeter side as I cannot convey this enough: you will taste a lot of smoky nutty flavor in these dishes. The roasted squash with the smoked gouda and the soup with the cashews and finishing sesame oil drizzle.

This is an inexpensive dish that makes your whole home smell incredible. The cleanup is almost non-existent and you’ll have leftovers which is always a win. I don’t cook squash often however, when I do these are no-brainer go-tos. If wanting to serve this as a three course meal, start with the soup as an appetizer, the squash as a meal and fill the middle with shrimp or have a simple salad on the side, finish with whichever dessert you prefer the most.

Below you will find the table setting for this dish, as well as the cookies for dessert (please find under Dessert category). Bone china plates are from Royal Worcester. Silverware from Napoleon Bee. Napkin and placemat from Pier 1. Napkin holder from Afloral. Crystal glasses from Waterford.

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