Carrot and acorn squash soup with carrot top pistou is a delicious soup that uses the carrot tops to make the most delicious garlicky topping! This pistou is a pesto made from carrot greens and is so delicious. This makes a great soup for Fall, Thanksgiving or whenever the mood strikes.
For this squash soup I have used acorn squash. This is my favorite acorn squash recipe and such a great way to use this squash and I think you will love it too. I prefer acorn squash to all others but you can certainly substitute butternut squash if that is what you have on hand.
The difference between butternut squash and acorn squash in this soup:
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. Most people use butternut squash for their squash soup.
I prefer mixing the mild acorn squash with carrots for a more balanced flavor. The carrot adds a nice depth of flavor and sweetness and the acorn squash lends that creamy squash texture and flavor.
As I mentioned earlier, you can substitute butternut squash or any other creamy squash to replace the acorn squash in this recipe.
It will taste amazing either way.
What is the carrot top pistou?
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 essentially a carrot green pesto. It is amazing!
This soup goes so well as a main dish or as a side for Thanksgiving or larger gatherings. It is really easy to make and really big on flavor.
Here are the steps to making this easy carrot and acorn squash soup:
First you are going to add all of your veggies to a large sheet pan.
You are going to roast the vegetables in the oven. Add just a little bit of olive oil to them before roasting. This will bring out a beautiful deep flavor in your squash and carrots and make the soup taste amazing.
Now you add the fully roasted vegetables into a large pot
In this step you are going to mash down your vegetables. You don't have to mash too much since they will be going into the blender later.
Add your stock and mix that into your mashed veggies.
You will add your chicken stock to your mashed up veggies and mix it well. Once you do this you will start to bring it over to your blender to puree it into a soup. This can be done in batches. You always want to make sure to only fill your blender half way with hot liquids so it doesn't pop out of the container during blending.
Add the pureed soup back into your large pot on the stove and then add your heavy cream.
This is where it all starts to come together. After you are done pureeing your soup in the blender you add it back to your pot and mix in the heavy cream. The soup will become thick and silky.
Once the cream is well incorporated then you begin warming the soup over a low heat
Now that you have a creamy a delicious soup, the last steps are making sure it is nice and warm all the way through and tasting for seasoning. This is a great time to add any salt or pepper that it may need (to taste). You would be surprised how much cream takes away from the saltiness of soup.
That is it. It is very easy. To serve the squash and carrot soup, just ladel some soup into a bowl and top with a dollop of your pistou. The pistou is so good!
Helpful tips and ideas when making this acorn squash soup:
What can I serve with this acorn squash soup?
In our house all soups are served with a good crusty bread and this one is no exception. I like making my oregano crostini to serve alongside this soup for dipping.
Do I need to roast the squash when making this soup?
Yes. This is where all the flavor comes from with the vegetables. The roasting brings out the sweetness from the vegetables and helps soften them up for pureeing.
If I am serving this as a side dish, what meat goes well with this squash soup?
I always make this as a main dish but at larger gatherings I will make this as a side. I like to serve this squash soup with poultry (turkey, chicken..).
Can I freeze the leftover soup?
Yes. This soup freezes beautifully. Just let it cool completely and place it in a freezer proof container or bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
To thaw, place the frozen soup in the fridge overnight to gently defrost.
To re-heat, place your soup into a large pot and heat on low until fully warmed through.
Highlights of this easy carrot and acorn squash 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
This is so easy to make and not a boring fall squash soup at all!
If you want more soup inspiration for the cooler weather you might like:
- Kale and farro minestrone
- Indian garlic soup
- Pasta fagioli
- Vegetable Soup with Cabbage
- Coconut Curry Ramen Soup
- Sausage and Tortellini Soup
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
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 shallot diced
- ⅛ 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
Carrot Top Pistou (carrot top pesto)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole bunch of carrot top greens rinsed and coarse chopped
- 1 clove of garlic course chopped
- 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 ½ 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 ¾ 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.
Carrot top pistou (carrot top pesto)
- Take the green tops from your carrots and finely chop them
- Add this to a food processor along with the remaining ⅛ 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