Friday, October 16, 2009

First Squash of the Season

The leaves are changing colors, there is a definite chill in the air and Halloween is just around the corner. But in my house, something is missing. For some reason, it just wasn't fall yet.

Well that reason was the squash. I was so excited when I first saw squash at our grocery store, and they are my favorites, so I picked them up right away. And they sat on the counter for over a week (you may have seen them lurking in some photos this week).

One of the reasons I love acorn squash, is that they are the perfect size for becoming a single-serve bowl.

I liked how my lovely friend at kubiclekitchen used them as a bowl for chili, and I decided that I would be a copycat. So after I cut them in half and roasted them, that is precisely what I stuffed my warm, orange, edible bowls with.

Three Bean Chili in the better edible bowl

This only used one half of my squashies though. Nick wasn't home, so he didn't have one, and he didn't take one to work along with the rest of the leftovers.

I don't know what the weather is like by you, but it is ugly here: rainy, foggy, cold. And I finally had that little light in my head go off that said "Time for Soup".

Not only was it the perfect time for soup, but it was the perfect time to use up the leftover squash, and a pantry items that I rarely use: red lentils.
Except, although I rarely use lentils, I ended up not having enough (go figure), so split peas went into the pot as well, along with some leftover roasted squash.

Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup
1 cup TOTAL red lentils and split peas
1/2 cup brown rice
6 cups broth (I used half low-sodium)
2 onions
3 carrots
3 cloves garlic
1 roasted acorn squash
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dry rubbed sage
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 cup cooked beluga lentils (optional)
diced avocado (optional)
Serves 4-6

The onion, garlic, and carrots were sliced and diced, then sauteed until soft with the red pepper and sage. The squash, removed from its skin, was roughly chopped and thrown into the pot.

The broth was added and brought to a boil, and then the rice, lentils, and peas were added. This all cooked together for about 40 minutes, when the lentils were mush, and the rice was tender. The cooked beluga lentils were stirred in during the last two minutes and were just added something pretty, they are not necessary.

This could be pureed...except the rice kind of gets in the way. To puree, cook the rice separately, then add when everything else has been cooked and pureed. I happen to like my soup chunky.

Add some diced avocado for some cooling creamy bites, and this made a perfectly wonderful rainy day soup. Just a little spice, just a little sweet, and perfectly warm and hearty for a chilly day.
So there we have it, the first squash of the season, and now I have finally entered fall. I am much more in the fall mood now, and these warm meals have been perfect for this rainy weather. Is anyone else super antsy for the holidays this year?? I can't wait.

We have some indoor fun planned this weekend at the Philly Wine and Food Festival, which should be fun! I hope you all have something fun planned! And if some soup!


  1. Oh yum! This sounds so good! We just finished off a pot of tomato- lentil.

  2. Yum, your chili bowls and soup look amazing! I've had some butternut squash in the house, but not acorn yet. I think its definitely time. :)

  3. Great idea! I love the addition of avocados- my favorite!

  4. You just rocked my socks off with this squash post! Get 'em!

  5. Mmm, could this get any more perfect? Love the idea of topping off such a hearty soup with avocado pieces... I'll have to try that!

  6. The chili in the acorn squash looks awesome!
    I'm following you on Twitter now :)

    I'm excited for the holidays, for sure!

  7. i totally love squash soup - it my 2009 fall favourite. yum!

  8. all i have to say is HOLLER!!

  9. Mmmm I need to make chilli in a squash bowl! That looks amazing!

    And I like my soup super thick and super chunky (is it still soup then or is it stew?)

  10. Oh this is so delicious! I love squash soup too that's why I assure you I would make it a try. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Great and healthy foods :)..Wish I could eat some of those, lol.