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Author Notes: Delicata is mild in flavor and slightly sweet...perfect for ushering in fall. The charred corn compliments the earthy coriander, and the cilantro oil brightens up the whole dish. This soup can stand alone as a main dish served with fresh bread, or would make a fantastic side dish or starter as well. —Bridget Olson
For the soup:
- 3 pounds whole delicata squash
- 2 small yellow onions, large dice
- 1 large carrot, large dice
- 1 stalk celery, large dice
- 1 lime
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- black pepper to taste
- 2 ears fresh corn, husked and kernels sliced off
For the cilantro oil:
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, including stems
- 1 lime
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the ends off the delicata squash and then slice lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, then brush the insides with olive oil. Spray a baking sheet with cooking release spray, then place the squash flat sides down on the sheet and bake at 400 F for about 45 min. or until the insides are fork tender and the outsides are getting some golden brown spots.
- While the squash is baking, make the cilantro oil. Put the handful of cilantro into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the juice from 1 of the limes and 1/2 cup of olive oil, and process until very smooth. Strain through a mesh sieve and discard solids.
- Once the squash is out of the oven, set a large soup pot on the burner and turn to med high heat. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When nice and hot, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute about 7-10 minutes or until good and tender. Add the chicken stock, juice of the other lime, coriander, and salt. Scoop out the cooked squash and add it to the soup. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is thick and silky (it might take about 5 minutes or so).
- Just before serving, heat a skillet over high heat, and let it get really hot. Don't add any oil or butter. Add the fresh corn kernels to hot pan and let them sit still for a couple minutes. Give the pan a shake and let them sit again another couple minutes or until they are slightly charred.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a little corn first, then the cilantro oil in sweeping circles. Enjoy!