Winter squashes come in a variety of flavors and textures. Many can be substituted for each other in recipes, and they lend themselves well to soups and stews. Squashes are packed with vitamins and minerals, which are great in the cool season when fresh fruits and vegetables are less plentiful. Soup is one of many ways squash can be eaten, and squash is at its freshest and most wildly available in the fall. Choose from the best squash soup recipes below, and start cooking tonight.
The kabocha squash is also called Japanese pumpkin. It began popping up in the United States thanks to the Sakata Seed Company. It has a thick green skin. The orange flesh has an intense flavor that combines the taste of a sweet potato and a pumpkin. To really highlight the amazing flavor of the kabocha, try Alton Brown’s Kobocha Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche found here.
By far the most popular selling squash, the butternut is ubiquitous to the squash soup recipe. Outside of the United States it is often called the “butternut pumpkin,” and many pumpkin products contain its dark orange goodness instead of actual pumpkin. Well ripened butternut squashes are very sweet, and need something to complement that sweetness. John Watson at Access Atlanta pairs the sweetness of the butternut squash with the saltiness of bacon in his Maple Bacon Butternut Squash Soup available here.
The delicata squash is often overlooked for its stringy cousin the spaghetti squash. The delicata has a mild flavor with just a hint of sweetness, and has a firm flesh that is not stringy. It also tends to have a thinner skin, which can be left on and eaten unlike most winter squashes. A Chow Life’s Roasted Delicata Soup is just the ticket to bringing out the subtle nuances of the delicata, and is viewable here.
True pumpkins aren’t really winter squashes, but they are still a squash. Pumpkins are usually used in things like pies or cakes, but can make an amazing soup. By far, one of the best squash soups is the Spicey Pumpkin Soup, which is adapted from an O Magazine recipe and can be viewed here. Try topping the finished product with dried cranberries or subbing the heavy cream with cashew cream for a bit of a twist.
Acorn squash is often overlooked as a base of a soup. It is usually paired with an orange fleshed squash for soup or served baked with a savory stuffing. The acorn’s nutty and mild flavor and yellow flesh can stand on it’s own despite the lack of recipes. The Roasted Acorn Squash Soup on Allrecipes.com let’s the acorn squash shine on its own, and goes great with a side of toasted bread and fresh chevere cheese.