It's not as difficult as it looks - trust me. If you roast the squash ahead of time, the actual soup making process is really quick, and can be done on a weeknight. I don't put soup in food processors, no matter what the recipe says, because I'm rather clumsy (ladling hot liquid into an electrical device? Um, no thanks). In this case, I used my (cheaply made) immersion blender, and it worked just fine. I decided to whip up the meatballs so that my picky family would actually eat it. If I served the soup alone in a bowl, I would get all kinds of "ick" faces and whining, so I decided to sidestep that and make it yummier in the process. My husband and 5-year-old loved it. The 2-year-old ate it, and that was good enough for me. I thought it was delish, and a nice, warm, hearty meal for a cold fall day :)
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup With Italian Sausage Meatballs
2 medium acorn squash
4-6 cups chicken broth (I added a little chicken bouillon for added flavor)
salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped (or 1 Tbs dried)
Some of the sausage oil
Parmesan or Romano cheese for garnish
Slice the acorn squash lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp. Place with the cut side down on a roasting pan filled with 1/2 cup water in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until cooked through and tender). Remove and let cool. Once cool, scoop out the squash and mash it with a fork. Place in an airtight container in the fridge if you are making the soup another day. If not, add the squash to a large saucepan with the chicken broth, salt, pepper, onion powder, butter and sage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until meatballs are finished. When meatballs are done, pour some of the oil from the pan into the soup. Prior to serving, blend with an immersion blender. Top with meatballs and Parmesan or Romano cheese.
5 links mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or omit for a GF version)
a sprinkle of garlic powder
1/8 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/8-1/4 cup frying oil (olive, coconut, etc.)
Mix all ingredients well. Form into small balls and fry in oil until cooked through. Serve with soup immediately.