Monday, October 19, 2009

Meatless Monday: Roasted Acorn Squash & Hazelnut Soup

Divas, it's been quite a weekend!

First, the Monster got his balls chopped off, the poor little eunuch.  I'm happy to report that he's feeling much better and healing up beautifully!  Me, not so much.  I've been on constant ball-licking alert since Friday, monitoring every flick of the Monster's tongue, lest he lick his incision. Yes, the vet did give me a cone, but he completely underestimated the size of the Monster's huge noggin.

Here's a play by play of what happened after I placed the cone on the Monster's head.  He ran sideways into the wall, writhed around on the carpet in complete agony and then sat up and promptly licked his balls. There was no ball-blockage achieved whatsoever. The only thing the cone did was make him look so ridiculous that I collapsed in a fit of horrible, guilt-inducing laughter.

I'm a terrible human being!

By the time Sunday rolled around, it was clear a new cone was needed, but thanks to the AIDS Walk which closed EVERY SINGLE MAJOR STREET in West Hollywood, I couldn't reach my vet's office.  I had to take drastic measures and resort to trekking to  the VALLEY for a new cone.  Actually, I exaggerate, since I love Studio City and was even able to hit up their farmers market after I procured my new 20 centimeter cone! Let me assure you that once I strapped this bad boy to the Monster's head, total ball-blockage was finally achieved!

Mission accomplished!  Now meet Conehead, the Amazing Coneheaded Dog!

On top of the trial and tribulations of the Adorable Monster, the power outage last week janked up my dinner plans.  No power = no fridge power = ruined my milk-fed pork chops.  Grrrrr!  But fear not Divas, I was able to improvise and whip up some excellent food despite my adverse circumstances. Take that crappy Los Angeles Power Grid that can't handle one freaking rain storm!!

So today I'm sharing a great fall recipe for Meatless Monday, who graciously published my recipe this week (CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT)! This soup is made from roasted acorn squash and toasted hazelnuts, which add a healthy dose of Omega 3's and protein to the dish.  Winter squash such as acorn squash are in season right now, and this soup is a great way to take advantage of their availability and super low cost!

For a complete meal, pair this hearty soup with a healthy salad!  This soup is also great leftover. Make a big batch and eat it all week long!

Roasted Acorn Squash & Hazelnut Soup
Serves 3-4 people

1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 garlic clove
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the acorn squash in a roasting pan.  Rub the inside of the squash with the olive oil, thyme, chili flakes and nutmeg.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Turn the squash face down and poke holes in the skin with a knife.  Place the squash in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh from the skin.

Puree the scooped-out squash with the hazelnuts, vegetable stock, maple syrup and garlic until smooth.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  To heat the soup, pour into a pan and simmer on the stovetop for about 8 minutes.

To plate, ladle some soup into a bowl.  Drizzle with good olive oil, sprinkle with chopped parsley and fresh ground pepper.  Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients:

organic acorn squash, organic garlic and organic thyme from the Hollywood Farmers Market

hazelnuts from Whole Foods

Music on Tap:

Mogwai - Mr. Beast

This Scottish band creates fantastic, brooding, guitar-laden instrumentals!  I'm a huge fan of their music.  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN CHECK OUT THEIR ALBUM!

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