This is a soup for garlic lovers only. Those who aren’t fans of the stuff should just stop reading now because this soup literally has nearly a head of garlic per serving…no, I didn’t mean a clove, I mean a full head. This is another recipe from Didi Emmon’s wonderful Entertaining for a Veggie Planet: 250 Down-to-Earth Recipes which I’ve raved about in previous posts.
To call this a soup is something of a misnomer as it is perhaps the thickest soup I have ever had…between the squash, the spinach, the cream, and the relatively small amount of broth added, the end product is so thick you could practically stand a spoon in it. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.) In fact, I think you can tell from the photo that unlike most soups, it keeps its surface peaks as you ladle it into the bowl.
I had halved the recipe because I only had one acorn squash on hand, and was worried that the total volume of “3 small bowls” might not be enough as dinner for two hearty eaters. Never fear, the soup is so rich and thick that we managed to have fairly sizeably bowls that night (along with a wedge of crusty bread), then watered it down a little with extra broth for leftovers the next night. We both agreed that although the watered down version was good, it was a pale shadow of the original, so I’d recommend making it according to the recipe, or perhaps with just an extra cup of broth. We topped it with a sprinking of feta for the visual effect, but truly, the additional creaminess was totally unnecessary. I’d imagine it would also be good as a pasta sauce or over rice.
Acorn squash, spinach, and roasted garlic soup (serves 6 small bowls)
2 acorn squash
extra-virgin olive oil
4 heads of garlic, three left whole, 1 seperated into cloves and peeled
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup dry sherry (I substitued marsala wine) 1 bunch spinach, stemmed
2/3 cup light or heavy cream (I used heavy, but light should be plenty rich)
1 tsp kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut acorn squash in half, remove and discard the strings and seeds. Brush the cut sides with olive oil. Arrange the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut off the top thirds of the three whole heads of garlic and brush the cut sides with olive oil. Place on the baking sheet with the squash. Roast until the squash and garlic are very tender, about 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
2. Meanwhile, in a heavy skiller, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the unroasted garlic cloves and saute for 3 minutes more. Stir in the vegetable stock, sherry, and spinach. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Scoop out the squash flesh into a food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add to the food processor. Puree the squash and garlic, adding a bit of the liquid from the soup if necessary. Transfer to a large clean saucepan.
4. In the food processor, puree the spinach mixture in batches and add each batch to the squash mixture. Or use an immersion blender to puree the spinach mixture in the pot, then add it to the squash mixture. Add the cream, salt, nutmeg, and mix well. Heat through and season with pepper.