Roasted acorn squash soup

Like so many of my forays in the kitchen, this soup experiment was born out of necessity. I am back in Washington, D.C., and happy to be close to the Takoma Park Co-op once again. On my latest trip to the small store, I picked up a handful of vegetables: acorn squash, onions, carrots and potatoes.

After a few days of the vegetables eyeing me and wondering when I would ever get around to using them, I decided to roast them. I cut them all (one squash and a couple of each of the others) into similarly shaped 1-inch cubes and laid them out on a baking pan. A quick drizzle of grapeseed oil and black pepper and they went into the oven for about 75 minutes at 400 degrees, long enough for the sugars inside the starchy vegetables to caramelize and sweeten the lot. Salt after you roast.

I ate half the vegetables as they were, with rice. The rest went into the soup, which is easy. Blend the roasted vegetables with 1 cup of chicken broth and enough water to reach a soupy consistency. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

The result is a sweet and hearty soup with a peppery bite — great for warming up on these cold winter days. The photo here was taken during lunch at my desk.

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