Maria Zizka will be creating an entire Thanksgiving menu for KCET Food. Here's the second dish -- enjoy!
Acorn Squash and Turmeric Soup
I love a little bowl of soup as a first course. It sets the mood for the whole meal and somehow seems to slow everything down. This recipe is easily adaptable -- you can use butternut, kabocha, or your favorite winter squash in place of the acorn squash. You can also switch up the spices. I've included turmeric, a member of the ginger family, because it adds a nice, subtle tang and a vibrant pop of color.
Serves 6 as a first course
1 acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 small cloves garlic, sliced
1 chile de árbol, sliced
3 sprigs thyme, stemmed
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups good-quality chicken broth
Heavy cream, for serving
Chopped chives, for serving
Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut the squash into 1-inch pieces.
Heat a Dutch oven (or equivalent pot) over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil and, when the butter foams, add the squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until the squash softens around the edges and begins to brown. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, chile, thyme, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for a few more minutes until the garlic and onion soften slightly. Pour in the chicken broth, adjust the heat so that the soup simmers, and cook until the squash is completely tender, about 10 minutes.
Use a handheld stick blender or a regular blender to purée the soup until it is very smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding another pinch of salt if needed.
To serve, swirl a little splash of cream into each bowl of soup and top with a sprinkling of chives.