This is the time of year when soup and those hard-skinned, odd-shaped squash are a wonderful combination. Don’t let winter squash intimidate you. Yes, they are a struggle to cut in half, but think of it as an added calorie burner. That combined with the health benefits the squash possess and everyone is a winner. Once you break through the shell, the joy of sweet and nutty flavor makes it all worthwhile. I give my husband the task of chopping it in two, and I think he appreciates my confidence in his abilities. Like I said, everyone wins.
My acorn squash and coconut milk soup is creamy and satisfying with just a hint of Asian flavor. The coconut milk, Sriracha and the fish sauce are both easy to find in the Asian food section of just about any grocery store.
Belle’s Acorn Squash and Coconut Milk Soup
1 large acorn squash
1 teaspoon (or more) Sriracha (Thai hot sauce)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (you can use soy sauce)
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoons salt
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
Sour cream for garnish
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place it cut side down on a microwave safe plate and cook in the microwave for about 10 minutes or until the flesh is very tender. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a large pot. Add the hot sauce, fish sauce (or soy sauce), broth and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the mixture in batches in a blender and puree. Put it back in the pot and add the coconut milk. Stir until blended and heated through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author, including the recently released "That's a Lot of Crock!" and novelist. Her website is at talesofthedinnerbelle.com.