When you have the perfect ingredients for a meal, the preparation is simple. And this rich, elegant soup is the essence of simplicity. You don’t even need a recipe for it. You make it once, and you’ll never forget it. What I love the most about this beautiful soup is that it is made right in the squash shell. There isn’t anything more lovely to share as a course for Thanksgiving, or as a satisfy-your-soul midweek supper.
I must give thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Cookbook for the inspiration to make this dish, among many others we enjoy from this classic tome. Aside of Hugh’s amazing story-cookbook, isn’t his name just fabulous? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Anyway, pick up the River Cottage Cookbook the next time you’re in the bookstore. And inhale it.
Back to the soup and its preparation. First, obtain one individually-sized winter squash per expected hungry person…an acorn squash or similar variety will do just fine. Cut the top off, Jack-O-Lantern style, and scoop out the seeds (if you’re a foodie, save the seeds to roast!). Add enough grated gruyere cheese to fill each squash cavity about a third full. Then pour in enough whole cream (yes, whole cream–live a little!) to fill each squash cavity by about two thirds. Are you with me? Add a pinch of Kosher salt, a nice grind of black pepper, and a shave or sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. Put the tops back on the squashes, and bake them in a baking dish at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
The squash tops will be gorgeously browned, and the squash will be tendersweet. To eat this absolutely delectable and very filling soup, scoop the soft, cooked insides of the roasted squash with a spoon and swirl it into the cream and melted, stringy cheese. It’s a beautiful thing. Be sure to make enough for friends and family and folks that drop by, because they are hungry and lonely and need a little extra TLC.