I posted a corn puree recipe in June that I was dying to turn into a soup. Then the weather became unbearable hot and the thought of eating soup made me sweat. Now that it’s cooler, I’m craving this soup again. But I wanted to make a more seasonally-appropriate version, using roasted squash instead of corn.
This dish is nourishing and complex. It’s sweet from the squash, coconut milk and scallops, smoky from the bacon and chipotle, and it finishes with a touch of heat.
If you’re still interested in making the sweet corn puree recipe into a soup, just follow the original recipe as written, but substitute a can of coconut milk for the coconut cream and add a can of chicken stock when you puree the mixture.
Sweet and Smoky Roasted Squash Soup with Seared Scallops and Bacon
4 cups of your favorite squash, cut into 2 inch cubes. I used kobucha because it’s all I can find here (and it’s why you see some green specks in my soup – the peel is edible and green), but I would highly recommend butternut squash if you can get it. Acorn squash or pumpkin would also work.
4 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can coconut milk (about 13 oz or so)
2 chipotles in adobo, minced (or more, to taste)
4 slices bacon, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only
12 sea scallops, abductor muscle removed
salt and pepper to taste
may need a few tablespoons of brown sugar
Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 30-50 minutes, until very tender.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until it just begins to brown. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, chipotle and salt. Puree until smooth (I used an immersion blender, but a blender would work as well). Add additional chicken stock or water a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. My squash wasn’t very sweet, so I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. If you find you need to do this, add one tablespoon at a time until you’re pleased with the results. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. This can be made a day or so in advance and reheated gently over low heat.
Crisp the bacon in a medium pan over medium heat, draining on a paper towel when done. Leave about tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan, turning the heat up to medium-high.
Rinse the scallops, patting dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper each side of the scallops. Add the scallops to the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Sear each side of the scallops in the bacon fat, being careful not to overcook them (or they will get tough). It will take only 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of your scallops. Cut the scallops into a ½ inch dice.
Assemble the dish by dividing the soup among bowls. Top with the bacon, scallions and scallops.