Sometimes I think what you garnish a soup with is almost as important as the soup itself. And that’s the case with this particular recipe. The acorn squash soup is pretty delicious all on its own, but it’s made WAY better with the addition of salty, roasted chickpeas. They also make this meal idea more filling with added protein.
We received a couple of acorn squashes in our CSA box during the last few weeks, so I’d been itching to try to make some soup, and I decided to think outside the box with the garnish. I could eat warm soup with a hunk of baguette all day every day, but variety is the spice of life. And I’m happy to report that this slightly more healthy alternative is just as flavorful. Try it!
2 acorn squash
1/2 yellow onion
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
juice from 1 orange
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt + pepper to season
Start by roasting the squash and chickpeas. You can do this at the same time to cut down on total cook time. Or you can roast the acorn squash ahead of time in a slow cooker. For the squash, cut in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Prep the chickpeas by rinsing and draining them from the can. Place in a bowl and drizzle on the olive oil, making sure each bean gets coated. Then sprinkle in the cayenne and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat (or parchment paper).
Roast the squash and chickpeas at 400°F for about 35 minutes. Depending on the size of your squash, you may need to roast for an additional 5-10 minutes. Test them by seeing if they can easily be punctured with a fork.
Once your squash is ready, scoop out and discard the seeds. Then scoop out the soft insides and place in a blender. Add the cooked onion and the orange juice. Puree until smooth. Depending on your blender size, you may need to do this in two batches. You could also do this step directly in the pot using an immersion blender. Up to you.
Once smooth, return the mixture to your pot. Whisk in the stock over medium/high heat. Taste and season with salt or pepper as needed. If you want to add a little richness to your soup, feel free to pour in a little cream or stir in some Greek yogurt.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.