In a case of “the cobbler’s children go unshod”, I often find myself with no idea what to make for dinner. I have found that in those cases the best solution is to explore the depths of my fridge and see what has been there long enough to develop consciousness, and eat it before it attacks my family.
About a week ago I bought a few acorn squashes on a whim, and they were lingering sadly on our kitchen counter, always getting pushed back by other foods we wanted to eat first.
With the temperature dropping ever so slightly I decided to make soup for dinner. But what soup? Well, how about I throw in a few other things lingering in the fridge?
And that was the unglamorous origin of this acorn squash, onion and pancetta soup.
I confess that acorn squash is not one of my favorite pumpkins, it’s a little on the bland side. I am partial to our dear ol’ auyama (West Indies pumpkin), with its deep, slightly sweet flavor. In contrast, acorn squash has a very mild flavor.
In this soup the onion and pancetta are softened by the acorn squash, while the acorn squash gains a lot of flavor from those ingredients.
Served with some rustic bread toast, it made the perfect lazy dinner for a Sunday evening.
Should you find yourself in possession of some acorn squash, go ahead, try this soup, I promise it will become a go-to dish in the future. Amazing what a few ingredients can produce.
Of course it’s the white wine that takes this acorn squash and pancetta soup several notches above “nice dinner” and into “when can you make this again?”. It gives a small touch of sophistication to a soup you’ll be proud to serve guests.
- 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil (corn, peanut or soy)
- 1/2 lb [0.23 kg] of pancetta
- 4 large white onion
- 6 acorn squashes , peeled, clean of seeds and cubed
- 2 qt [2 lt] of vegetable broth
- 1 qt [1 lt] of water (or more, if necessary)
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups of white wine for cooking
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 1 loaf of rustic bread , sliced or cubed, then toasted
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and brown.
Add white onions and acorn squash and cook and stir until the onions have turned translucent.
Add broth and simmer covered over low heat for 30 minutes. Add water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level.
Add nutmeg and wine. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread.
If you want to serve it in these cute bowls made from the acorn squash, just cut the top to form a lid, then remove the flesh with a melon baller leaving the shell intact.