This is a terrific fall soup, perfect for the holiday season. It is easy to make, and requires no pre-prepared soup stock. The aroma of the mulled spices is festive and somewhat surprising in a soup. I plan to serve this soup at the Herbal Water holiday party next week, in cups, with a cinnamon stick.
2 butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
1-2 acorn squash peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
1 large onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound peeled roasted chestnuts
1-2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the mulling spices:
1-2 cinnamon sticks,
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
Orange peel (orange part), of about half an orange
Gather the mulling spices into a muslin bag, teaball or cheesecloth pouch. The orange peel and cinnamon stick can be allowed to roam free in the pot, as they would be easy to fish out.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squashes, cut-side down, on a baking pan and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cut into large chunks.
In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions until translucent.
Add the chunks of roasted squash, honey, salt, pepper, and half the chestnuts
Add water to cover by 1.5 inch.
Add the mulling spices
Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the mulling spices.
Puree soup with an immersion blender (this is an inexpensive kitchen tool that saves a lot of cleanup. You immerse the blender into the pot in which the food has been cooked, and easily puree it with a switch of a button. If you don’t have it, you can use a blender or food processor).
Crumble the remaining chestnuts into the pureed soup.
Taste and correct seasoning
Garnish with freshly toasted pumpkin seeds (excellent source omega 3), or a cinnamon stick.