Winter Squash and Apricot Soup V, GF
Winter squash and apricot soup has all the rich flavors of fall and an unexpected tart sweetness from the apricots. The working time to put this together is minimal. Just roast the squash and put everything in a blender.
Winter Squash Varieties for Soup
There are a least a dozen really delicious varieties of squash that can be used to make super tasty, creamy soup. I used a sweet, starchy variety called Sweet Dumpling Squash that we picked up at a local farmer’s market. I bought other types as well, but this one seemed to be good for a really sweet and smooth soup.
Squashes that would go well in this soup include butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata, the sweet dumpling squash that I used, turban squash, and kabocha. This is what mine looked like inside, and most winter squash will be like this and have a center of stringy seeds. Squash innards always remind me of a Frida Kahlo still life. Just me? Probably.
Anyway, this is what squash innards look like and you’ll have to scrape out the seeds to use the flesh for soup. The seeds are edible, too, and can be put on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven until they are slightly brown (about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F).
When choosing a squash, pick one that’s heavy for its size. It will have the most flesh and be dense. Also, check for firm skin without blemishes or soft spots.
Use what you have, right? My pears weren’t ripe so I looked around and the only other fruit I had handy was canned apricots. Fresh apricots would be lovely also, but these worked out just fine. I drained the apricots well but didn’t rinse any remaining syrup off of them. You can do that but I didn’t feel like I needed to.
Baking Squash is Easy
This soup uses baked squash and here’s the method I use … and do this for lots of things like sweet potatoes, etc. I just throw the squash into the oven whole and bake at 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes to an hour. I don’t peel it or even cut it in half. Have you ever tried to peel and cube a raw winter squash? Yeah, you could lose a finger that way. This is simple and, win-win, also makes delicious roasted squashes.
Once fully baked, squash is nice and soft, and easy to handle. Just cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then scoop out the flesh and place in a high-speed blender along with the other ingredients. Adjust for salt and pepper, like always, and use some fresh or dried chives, red pepper flakes, and dried cranberries to garnish. A little drizzle of maple syrup and … Delicious!
- 1 medium winter squash, cooked (about 2 cups of flesh)
- 2 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk
- 15 oz canned apricots, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- fresh or dried chives
- red pepper flakes
- dried ccranberries
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place your squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, until soft.
- When the squash cools enough to handle, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (these can be eaten as is or further roasted!).
- Scoop out the flesh into a high-speed blender and add the remaining ingredients except for the chives, red pepper flakes, or dried cranberries. Puree until very smooth, which will take a couple minutes.
- Reheat if desired, and top with chives, red pepper flakes, and dried cranberries. A drizzle of maple syrup and/or balsamic syrup would be good, too.