Soup weather descended upon Toronto this week, which works out pretty well because I’ve been planning on sharing this spiced acorn squash soup for a while. I started working on it back in August, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the first cool week of the fall to share it. I dream of fall all year; I feel like my senses are heightened during the fall.
Touch: The unforgettable crunch of the leaves on the ground.
Sight: The brilliant and bright oranges, reds and yellows of leaves dancing in the wind.
Sound: Sizzles and pops of a fire burning in the fireplace.
Smell: The earthy smell of falling leaves, the slightly smoky air from chimneys.
There is just something about fall, I find myself longing for these cool and crisp days all year. Don’t you love that word? Longing. It’s a word that holds so much weight and meaning in just two syllables. Every time I think of the word “longing” I snap back to a moment during my last semester at university.
It was just a simple conversation between myself, the other students in my class (there were 10 of us) and our wonderful, thought-provoking and wise professor. We were talking about the weight of the word “longing”; it was a small and fleeting conversation, a few of my fellow classmates shared their thoughts but I just listened.
Intentionally sitting back and soaking in that moment; this was the type of discussion you’d only have in a writing class in film school and I wanted to remember it. I wanted to remember the afternoon light streaming through the windows, the feeling of my head resting against the back wall, the energy of the room. I like to think of memories as black and white sketches and these small details are the colours that fill the lines.
There are a few things that I miss about school, those types of conversations are one of them. We’d have long discussions about one or two lines of dialogue, about characters and settings, story arcs and the ever-changing creative process. I loved these reflective and thoughtful conversations and I still try to have them. Whether it’s on a rooftop terrace or in my kitchen, they still happen, the only difference is that there is no professor to lead the discussion and ask the right questions.
I’m trying to have them on Instagram too, why not join me there? To me, this memory about our discussion on “longing” isn’t so much about the words that were exchanged, but about how I felt in that moment.
Food has the ability to bring about feelings as well and bring you back to moments, perhaps if you make this acorn squash soup it will create a black and white sketch-memory for you and the warmth of the bowl, the smooth texture of the bright yellow-orange puree, and the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and smoked paprika will be the colours that fill the lines.
Typically when you’re roasting acorn squash, you don’t need to peel it (that’s the beauty of acorn squash), but for this recipe I skip all the difficult and time consuming steps. This squash gets microwaved for 4-5 minutes, and then once it’s cool enough to handle, you simply scoop out the flesh and discard the skin and seeds.
Pre-cooking the squash in the microwave also cuts down on the cooking time–this soup only takes 20 minutes to cook. I finish it off with a touch of cream, which makes it extra luxurious and velvety smooth. If you ever wonder why restaurant soups are so much better than the ones you make at home? Cream and butter are the answers.
Keep yourself warm this season with a big bowl of a healthy spiced acorn squash soup.