Delicata is an heirloom variety of squash that I’ve just discovered this year. With sweet orange flesh, it is fairly similar to most other winter squashes, though delicata squash is particularly rich in flavor. Its low fiber content makes it ideal for purées and its thinner skin makes it easier to peel.
I was inspired by this recipe, but made a few changes.
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2.5 cups delicata squash (about 3-4 small squashes)
A handful of wild mushrooms — I used shitake and chanterelle
3 cups vegetable stock
2-3 T arborio rice
Salt, pepper, seasoning to taste*
*The original recipe calls for a smoked ham hock. I omitted this to keep it vegetarian, but to lend a hearty, smoky flavor added some Penzey’s Chicago seasoning, which is infused with hickory smoke essence. Other vegetarian alternatives include smoked paprika, liquid smoke, or even a dried chipotle pepper or two.
Heat butter in a dutch oven on the stovetop and saute onions for around 30 minutes, until they are caramelized.
Preheat oven to 225.
In the meantime, peel the squash. Raw delicatas can be easily peeled with a regular vegetable peeler.
Remove seeds and pith and cut into coarse chunks.
Toss everything into the pot with the ovens, cover and roast in the oven for about 1.5 hours until squash is very tender.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, and serve!.
Note that when I followed the amounts in the original recipe, the soup came out very thick — more like a vegetable puree. I therefore increased the liquid amount to 3 cups when posting here, but it is something to keep in mind depending on the consistency you prefer.
I really enjoyed the heartiness of this soup. It would be a great first course for a Thanksgiving meal — if there is no room in your oven you could try forgoing the roasting and just cook on the stove top. Or, roast in advance and keep warm on the stove top. Either way, it is the perfect soup for a chilly autumn day.