It is finally Fall and almost Thanksgiving and for me that means soups and all types of squash are on the menu. I am not a big fan of sweet squash so I decided to try a soup made with acorn squash which is only mildly sweet. The carrot addition to this Carrot and Acorn squash soup was inspired by a recent visit to a conference at the Fairmont Hotel here in Austin, Tx. The chef made a carrot soup with a carrot top pistou which was amazing and I loved that the tops were used and not discarded! It definitely needed to be re-created at home!
If you are not familiar with pistou, it is sort of like a French pesto. It comes from the Provence region and is usually made with basil. garlic and olive oil and it’s used to top soups. This recipe forgoes the basil and uses the green tops of the carrots instead. It is amazing! Below I list my favorite things about what makes this soup special for me. I hope you give it a try!
This soup goes so well as a main dish or as a side for Thanksgiving! If you are here looking for more sides to go on your Thanksgiving table, I’ve included some Thanksgiving recipe links below from fellow bloggers that will definitely help you out!
Highlights of this soup
- The carrots and squash are roasted until caramelized adding a great lightly sweet and nutty flavor
- There is little food waste since we are using the carrot tops to make the pistou
- The garlic and Parmesan from the pistou compliments the sweetness of the soup adding depth of flavor
Carrot and Acorn Squash Soup with Carrot Top Pistou
- High powered blender for pureeing the soup
- 2 acorn squash cleaned, cut in half and seeds removed
- 8 medium fresh carrots with green tops cleaned and peeled and green tops reserved
- 32 ounces chicken stock good quality
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 shallot diced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil (half for soup and the other half for your pistou) plus a little more for drizzling on vegetables
- 1 tbsp salt and pepper or to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
- Add your cut and cleaned carrots (not the green tops) and cut and halved acorn squash to a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast your vegetables for about 20-25 minutes or until they start to brown a little and are soft all the way though
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for a minute before handling
- In the meantime, heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat and add 1/2 of your olive oil
- Now add your diced shallots and 1 clove of your minced garlic and cook for about 4-5 minutes
- Now add your chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf
- Now we are going to get the roasted vegetables ready to add to the pot by scooping the flesh of the acorn squash away from the skin. You may be able to just peel the skin of the squash right off.
- Once this is done, you can add your whole carrots and the flesh of the squash right into your soup.
- You can mash it down a bit with the back of your spoon. Don't worry about smoothness here since we will be pureeing it all in a blender.
- Now add your salt, pepper and your cream
- Mix it well and let it come to a light simmer
- Once it has simmered for a few minutes, remove your bay leaf and discard.
- Bring your pot over to the blender (If you have an immersion blender, you can just puree your soup right in the pot and skip the blender steps)
- Add your soup to the blender making sure to only fill it 3/4 of the way to the top as hot soup will expand in the blender
- Place the top on your blender tightly and cover with a towel. Puree your soup on high for 2 minutes or until smooth
- You may need to do this in batches to make sure you do not over fill your blender
- Once your soup is all blended and smooth, add it back to your pot. Taste for any seasoning (add salt and pepper to taste) then place over low heat with a lid on top.
- Making the Pistou:
- Take the green tops from your carrots and finely chop them
- Add this to a food processor along with the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic and your Parmesan cheese and blitz until it is smooth.
- Add your pistou to a small bowl
- Ladle your soup into bowls and top with a dollop of the pistou
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