Acorn Squash Soup

When you cook, you learn that there is a lot to know about food that most people take for granted. For example, you learn what squashes are winter versus fall. You also learn that what you thought was a butternut squash your whole life is actually an acorn squash. I didn’t know this when I picked up an acorn squash on a whim last week, but it turned out to not really matter anyways. The soup I made was excellent.
  I adapted the recipe from a blog called Twin Tables (Makes me wish I had a twin!) because, like the blog says, it sounded too good to not try. 

Kickin’ STEAMED ACORN Squash Soup

1 acorn squash
Cayenne pepper
Cinnamon
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
olive oil
1/4 c maple syrup
1 c chicken stock
cilantro leaves
apple cider vinegar (optional)

1. Halve the squash, remove the seeds, and steam until soft. Remove the skin whatever way works best for you (I had a hell of a time), then mash the squash with a few dashes each of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook the vegetables until tender.
3. Add maple syrup, chicken stock, squash, some cilantro, and simmer.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the veggies until smooth. Serve with a dash of apple cider vinegar, if desired. 

A few bonuses:
Clean the seeds from the squash and roast them with salt and allspice. A word to the wise: these things explode like popcorn kernels. Don’t put your face in the oven!
If you time things right, you can easily make this soup in one pot. I chopped my vegetables while the acorn squash was steaming, then rinsed the saucepan and used it to cook the veggies while I tried to get the skin off my squash (much easier said than done!).

UPDATE 1/14/12:
I took these pictures with my phone when I first made the soup. Not sure why I never posted them, but here they are!

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