This is one of my favorite soups. I've added a few variations, too - to help make it one of yours.
Comments, suggestions and of course -ratings and votes- are greatly appreciated!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
3 medium sized fresh Acorn Squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 1/2 quarts water
1 lemon squeezed
2 cups each frozen peas, sliced carrots and sliced summer squash
1) 14.5 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Dash of black pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetarian soup base
For Acorn squash: Your favorite winter squash, about 3 cups cooked or 2) 12 oz. packages frozen winter squash
For fresh garlic: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For fresh lemon: 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
For frozen veggies: Fresh peas and carrots may be substituted. Fresh summer squash may not hold up well.
For canned tomatoes: 4-6 fresh chopped Roma or paste type tomatoes, covered in tomato juice.
For vegetarian soup base: Chicken base may be used.
Step 2: Prepare Squash
Slice squash in half. Use a fork to 'score' the membrane for easier removal. Use a spoon to remove membrane and seeds.
Step 3: Steam the Squash
If using a roasting or cake pan, place squash cut-side down and add water to half way mark, cover with foil.
Place in moderate 350 degree F. oven for 45-60 minutes.
Step 4: Chop Onions ...
Chop onions easier by first slicing onion in half.
Next, slice lengthwise as in photo.
Then while holding it together, slice onion crosswise.
Add to skillet.
Step 5: And Garlic.
Peel. Slice thin, then chop.
Add to skillet.
If using garlic powder, skip this step and add with other spices.
Step 6: Saute
This step brings out the flavor of the onions.
Step 7: Crush the Tomatoes
Drain the juice from the canned tomatoes into the pot.
Crush the tomatoes by hand, or by slicing in the can. Add.
Step 8: Squeeze Lemon
Lemon 'brightens up' the flavors of the other ingredients.
Step 9: Let's Make Soup!
Add frozen veggies, garlic and onions, and spices.
Add the soup base and simmer, stirring occasionally.
Step 10: Prepare the Squash
Carefully vent any steam, as it will be hot!
You can do this while you are performing the previous steps.
Or, for faster cooling, run under cool water.
If using frozen squash, add now and skip the next step.
Step 11: Scoop Squash
Add to soup pot.
Step 12: Simmer the Flavors
I prefer to make ahead and reheat the next day.
Note: If you are making ahead, substitute half the squash for frozen and hold back on it.
Add this at the end to help cool the soup down faster, before refrigerating.
Step 13: Variations
~ Vary the frozen veggies as your taste prefers- consider green and red peppers, celery and corn
~ For a more Southwestern flavor, substitute the lemon juice w/ lime and add 1 teaspoon each Cilantro and Cumin in place of Oregano
~ Add a few drops of hot sauce, or saute some hot peppers w/ the onions
~ Add sauteed mushrooms instead of summer squash, and use beef soup base
My personal favorite is adding some grated cheese and a little hot sauce. Mmmm.