Poor Mr.Surly, I haven’t made a full dinner in months. I'm not sure how much longer he can get by on my spartan dinners. I’ve been busy with hospital tests and doctor appointments and when I get home the last thing on my mind is food. All I want to do is to crawl onto the couch with my beloved heating pad and relax. Finally, all my medical appointments are winding down; my last 2 appointments are next week. By Wednesday I should know whether it’s a bad kidney or a bad pancreas that is causing my abdominal pain. Not sure at this point which option would be better. At least by knowing I can stop worrying about it and the doctors can start treating it properly. Then I can get back into cooking and baking. Sorry, about my medical rant; I'm just frustrated about it.
On a happier, seasonal note, I love the flavors of fall: pumpkin, apples, and especially acorn squash; warm, spiced comfort food. Lacking inspiration and feeling lazy, I decided to take some of my favorite fall foods and add them all together in a soup. It turned out creamy, dreamy, and delicious. Most importantly, for me, this was easy to make, yummy to eat, and caused minimal abdominal pain and bloating. Yay.
The soup is sweet from the apples and apple juice and gets a nice kick from the cayenne pepper. It is creamy enough that you don’t need to add the cream. I only added it because I need the extra fat and calories, since I'm still trying to gain weight.
Fall Harvest Soup
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 sugar pumpkin, halved and seeded (or 1 can pumpkin puree)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large, or 2 small, apple(s), cored, peeled and diced (I used Gala)
2 Tbl butter
brown sugar, to taste
cinnamon, to taste
pumkin pie spice, to taste
cardamom, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
thyme, to taste
~2 c water
apple juice (I used a kid’s juice box that was 6.75 fl oz)
½ c cream (opt)
Preheat oven to 400 F
First, roast the veggies:
Place squash inside side up on a baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle some kosher salt on the halves and drizzle with olive oil.
Place the pumpkin halves, inside side down, on a foil lined baking sheet.
Place sweet potato cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and lightly salt (I also drizzled some agave over them).
Roast the veggies until tender, either separately or all together, in oven. The squash and pumpkin took about 30-45 minutes; they are done when the shell is easily pierced with a knife. The sweet potato cubes took about 20-30 minutes; they are done when tender.
Allow squash and pumpkin to cool, then scrap out the insides into a bowl with a spoon or melon baller. Add the sweet potatoes.
Make the soup:
In a dutch oven or large pot, melt the butter. Add apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and cardamom. Sauté apples to caramelize, about five minutes. Add the apple juice and veggies along with 1 cup of water. Add a ½ to 1 tsp thyme and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer about 10 minutes or so to allow flavors to meld together.
Using an immersion blender puree the soup; at this point I needed to add another cup of water. If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the soup in batches in a blender. Taste to adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Stir in cream, if using, and remove from heat. Serve and enjoy.