Fall Comfort: Acorn Squash with Pistachios, Black Bread and Apples

October 26, 2014

Good Fat Cooking by Franklin Becker challenges our negative view of fat and highlights the use of various flavorful fats to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Whole foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon have naturally occurring fats that nourish the body and help support your body's everyday functions.  With over 100 recipes showcasing these healthy fats, Becker showcases their versatility and deliciousness.  Dishes like acorn squash soup with pistachios, mackerel with oranges, mint, chili, and lemon agrumato and even sweet avocado ice cream with lime and coconut.  Good Fat Cooking is a collection of irresistible guilt-free foods that can make fat part of your diet everyday.

Acorn Squash Soup with Pistachios, Black Bread, and Apples
Serves 4

Squash is such a good flavor absorber that I keep coming up with new things to do with it. With a little imagination and the ingredients in your fridge, you likely have the makings of a good squash soup. The combination here works as a complete meal, especially for, say, lunch on a cold winter weekend. The black bread croutons add crunch and body, and the apples call up hints of a savory apple crisp. For a heartier meal, skip blending the squash and serve it roasted, alongside duck breast or turkey leg. You can also substitute cauliflower for the acorn squash.

For the soup:
1-2 pounds acorn squash, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 quarts water

For the garnish:
1 teaspoon butter
1 large slice pumpernickel, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F for 15 minutes. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Do not remove the seeds. Bake until the skin is blistered and the flesh is fork-tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the garnish: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bread and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bread to a medium bowl using a slotted spoon. Repeat with the apple, followed by the pistachios, sautéing until golden brown. Transfer to the bowl and toss together. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Scoop the flesh and seeds from the squash and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and water. Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the bread mixture.

Reprinted from “Good Fat Cooking” by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky. Copyright (c) 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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