Acorn squash soup
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Acorn squash soup
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
2) Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and arrange the squash, cut side up.
3) To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with 1 tbsp each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelise and collapse, approximately 1 hr. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead.
4) In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelise, about 5 to 6 mins. Deglaze with 120ml of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond.
5) Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat.
6) When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 25g of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
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