Though this recipe comes from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck (the cookbook we gave away!), so somewhere hidden in that soup bowl, there has to be some sort of grain. It could have been a wholesome whole grain bread as crouton, but Maria ground oats and simply added them to the soup. That’s what makes this one different (and better?!) than the rest. Not better better, but better with the “good” of both oats and yogurt.
Acorn Squash Soup with Spicy Yogurt
from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals cookbook, by Maria Speck
We substituted in butternut squash because that’s what we had.
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 3 cloves)
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 pounds acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or just a pinch
½ to 1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To prepare the soup, grind the oats in a food processor until you have coarse meal, about 20 seconds. If you don’t own a handheld blender, do not clean the processor bowl yet.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is glassy and soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium, add the squash, and cook until the pieces shine with a coating of oil, stirring, about 1 minutes. Sprinkle the oatmeal, nutmeg, pepper and pepper flakes across the top. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the broth and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to release any toasted oatmeal bits. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the squash is tender, about 8 minutes (a paring knife should glide out easily).
While the soup simmers, make the spicy yogurt topping. Finely grate the lemon half until you have ½ teaspoon zest. Squeeze the fruit to get 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, zest, salt, and cayenne to a small serving bowl and beat with a fork until smooth.
To finish, puree the soup with a handheld blender in the saucepan or in batches in the food processor. If using a food processor, return the mixture to the saucepan and gently rewarm over medium heat until bubbles appear just below the surface, stirring a few times. Add ½ teaspoon of the sugar. Taste for salt, pepper, and sugar and adjust. Ladle the soup into deep plates, spoon a generous tablespoon of topping into each, and garnish with parsley.
Swirl the topping into the soup before you dig in.