A creamy, comforting soup with sweet and spicy fall flavors, and a salty, savory Italian twist. Simple and delicious, this recipe will leave you feeling cozy and satisfied.
- 3 acorn squash, halved
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large leek, dark top removed, thinly sliced* (about 3 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 5-oz pancetta
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons good quality maple syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup toasted pepitas*
- Enameled Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot (at least 4.5 quarts)
- Immersion blender or standard blender
To roast the squash
- Preheat the oven to 375º F and cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut acorn squash in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds with a sharp-edged ice cream scoop or spoon. Lay flesh-side-up on the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. If it doesn’t cover adequately, spread it out with a pastry brush.
- Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and pepper.
- Roast for about one hour, or until the outer shell is black, shiny and easy to remove.
- Once the squash is cool enough to touch, peel off the skin and discard. Set squash aside.
To make the roasted acorn squash soup with pancetta
- Warm an enameled Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Sauté the pancetta until crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Carefully drain off most of the fat and return the pot to the stove.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the butter. Melt and allow the butter to foam up. Continue to cook, gently swirling pan occasionally, until foam subsides and the butter begins to smell nutty and turn golden brown.
- Add the leeks and garlic. Sweat them for about 4 minutes, or until leeks are soft and translucent.
- Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and scrape any browned bits off the bottom with a silicone spatula.
- Add squash and remaining chicken stock. Bring it to a simmer.
- Use an immersion blender to blend mixture until evenly creamy.
- Add sage, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, maple syrup and heavy cream. Stir to combine, and cook about 5 minutes to marry flavors.
- Serve warm, topped with pancetta and pepitas.
*To toast the pepitas
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Add pepitas and allow to toast for a couple of minutes until you begin to smell them. Toss them around a bit to warm them on all sides, and set them aside on a plate until you’re ready to use them.
- Serve in small bowls or large teacups. This is a heavy soup, and is meant to be part of a larger meal. You want to give a taste, but not fill everyone up too much to enjoy the rest of dinner.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend the soup in a normal blender, but be careful! Work in small batches, hold the lid on tight, and use pot holders in case the blender gets hot.
- You can always roast the squash ahead and refrigerate. Just make sure you peel it while it’s still a little warm for optimal ease, and give the soup a little more time to warm up after adding the squash.
- If making ahead, be certain to cover the pot you use to reheat it. Heat it low and slow, and be careful because it will POP.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: roasted acorn squash soup with pancetta, acorn squash soup, squash soup, soup recipes, fall soup, fall recipes, squash recipes, pancetta