Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Acorn Squash Soup

Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks has been making these amazing Fall-inspired squash recipes and it put me in the mood.

I buy a few acorn squash and have them in the pantry every now and then. They come in handy to cut in half and roast for each of us to have a half or sometimes I make them into a soup.

Last night I pulled one out and decided on squash soup for tonight's dinner. I wasn't going into work until later so I could make the soup in the morning and then just re-heat it at night.

I noticed the sticker only had microwave instructions. This seemed odd to me because usually foods list the microwave instructions second, or even third, on the list and this was solely microwave. I figured it had to be good if they didn't even attempt to get you to use your oven.

Boy, was I wrong. I know a lot of people microwave their squash, but it is not for me. I usually cut them in half and put them skin side down/flesh side up in a dish with some water. I plop some butter in the de-seeded hole and sprinkle some nutmeg or allspice and then cover the whole thing with foil. I let this bake for 40 minutes to an hour until it's tender. Then it's juicy, tender and falls off the skin easily.

Microwaving, I followed the little sticker's advice of 8-10 minutes about 3 times for each half and it was still really tough. The skin also turned really brittle and crisp, making it harder to separate the flesh from it. It wasn't even more convenient! I was constantly checking and having to pop it back in for more minutes. It took about 40 minutes between multiple, long microwave sessions and trying to free the flesh from the skin anyways. Ugh. I'll just stick to the oven-roasting from now on. It's more convenient, easier and I think makes for a better squash in the end.

After wrestling with that I threw the squash in a blender with 2 cups of water and one vegetable stock cube. Then into a pan and in the fridge with the cover on.

Sadly, I ended up not being able to go to work today after all. My eye swelled up last night and it was just sore and irritated on the lid, so I had serious reservations that it was any type of infection. Today I ran to the pharmacist to see if she could recommend anything but she just said the same things I'd been doing - an Ibuprofen now and then for pain/swelling and a cool compress. Maybe try benedryl to see if it was allergy related? So I complied. But, I'm working with the public now. Specifically parents and their children. I didn't think it would be a good idea at ALL for them to see me with a bright red, swollen eyelid. I know I'd be worried bringing children around that, so I can't blame others who would most likely feel the same way. In order to prevent that I let my boss know and she agreed so I stayed home. Blah.

When Johnny got home from work I re-heated the soup on the stove and, once it was up to temperature I decided it was a bit bland, so I added about a teaspoon of kosher salt and it did the trick. While this was coming up to temperature, I just made a quick batch of Bisquick's drop biscuits.

The soup turned out velvety smooth and delicious. A nice, warm Autumn feeling on this semi-drab, overcast October day. The biscuits, in all their simplicity, were the perfect compliment! Yum, yum.

I also baked the seeds in a 350° toaster oven with some salt sprinkled over them! Such a tasty little snack.

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