Acorn Squash Soup with Cheesy Croutons
• 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin purée
• 1 1/2 pounds of acorn squash, peeled and cut into chunks
• 3 cups of low-sodium chicken stock
• 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup of half-and-half
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/2 French baguette, sliced into 1-inch pieces
• 3 ounces Gruyére, grated
1. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the minced garlic atop the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the pumpkin purée, acorn squash, chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the acorn squash is very tender. Process the mixture, in batches, using a blender. Be sure to let the hot air escape so you don’t have an explosions on your hands. Return the soup to the pot, add the half-and-half, and heat slowly.
3. Salt to taste. The soup might need the remaining teaspoon of salt, or it might not, depending on the chicken stock you’ve used.
4. For croutons, pre-heat oven to 350F. Melt the butter in a medium-skillet over medium heat. Add sliced bread to skillet. When toasted on one side, flip and toast for a minute or two, or until golden brown. Take off the heat, and top each piece of bread with cheese and transfer from skillet to the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve soup hot with cheesy croutons.