Delicata Squash Soup | Pregnancy Carbohydrate Scare

Roasted Delicata Squash

I just ate a chunk of cheese for a snack. It was delicious and I have to thank my friend E for the suggestion of packing my purse with tiny hunks of cheese before I leave the house.  This may not sound revolutionary to you or anyone else reading this, but it is a bit of an adjustment for me.  With every hunk of cheese, carrot stick, or almond I ingest, I am reminded of a recent medical slap in the face.

I can still feel the sting, in fact. It seems the pregnancy diet is not as liberating as I once imagined. Those muffins, fresh bread, and pasta feeds that invigorated me during times of hormonal distress are, apparently, no friend to the gestating.

When I tipped the scales last week at a weight few should ever witness, my midwife informed me that I no longer process carbohydrates like an ordinary person.  Every bit of bread I put into my body stays there. The danger, of course, is that my baby will be a big girl. Given the daunting nature of a natural birth, this is not what I wanted to hear. Fortunately, my baby girl is currently estimated to be average sized and, thus, the bread appears to be accumulating elsewhere on my body.

In retrospect, the baking extravaganza well-documented on this blog may not have been the most prudent path.  It isn’t such a joy to watch your belly grow if everything else swells accordingly.  I’m not here to dwell on the starchy negatives, however. I just want to keep you updated. I am making adjustments. There will be more variety.  It’s a thing to be embraced. I hear it’s the spice of life, after all.

In keeping with this spirit, I bring you a hearty and very easy Fall soup. It’s made with delicata squash. Delicata squash is one of my favorite Fall squashes. It’s gorgeous, easy to cook, and the flavor is so buttery it melts in your mouth. Moreover, it pairs well with rosemary and thyme, which are both abundant in Northwest gardens. You can find it at your local grocery store or farmer’s market right now.

Roasted Delicata Squash Soup

The recipe I give you today calls for you to roast the squash prior to adding it to the soup. I’m a huge roasting fan because it brings out the depth of flavor in pretty much anything.  However, soup is forgiving.  That’s the wonderful thing about making soup from scratch.  You can pretty much do what you like. If you’re in a pinch, feel free to toss the raw squash in with the broth and cook it until it’s tender. It will work, I promise.

I highly recommend cooking this soup on a crisp Fall evening. If you are wise, you will dip large hunks of hearty bread into it and savor the flavor of the delicata squash as it soaks into your bread.  However, I will ask you to refrain from telling me about this if you enjoy this method of soup ingestion.  I’m in a delicate state.  I might not be able to resist doing it myself and I simply cannot endure another scolding from my medical care provider.

Medical revelations aside, I remain steadfast in my promise to deliver up a good selection of Holiday breads this season. Although I cannot enjoy them to the fullest extent, I know it’s important to fill your bellies and those of your loved ones with starchy goodness this season. Never fear.

Roasted Delicata Soup

2 lbs delicata squash, halved and seeded

1 medium shallot, finely diced

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

3 tblsp salted butter

Sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tblsp crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking pan with foil. Place the squash halves with open sides up. Divide one tblsp of the butter among them and put it into the various cavities.  Roast in the oven for approximately 30 -40 minutes (depending on the thickness of the squash) until the inside of the squash is soft and can be easily removed. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool briefly.

In a stock pan on the stove, melt the remaining butter over medium to low heat. Add the shallot and rosemary and cook until the shallot is soft and fragrant, but not browned (about 4-5 minutes).  Add the 4 cups of stock and increase the heat to medium-high.

Scoop out the cooked squash into bit sized chunks and add it to the soup. Cook the squash in the soup for about 15 minutes until the stock is slightly reduced and the flavors come together.  Remove from heat.  Blend the soup mixture until smooth in batches in a blender or using a hand mixture.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour soup into bowls to serve. Top each bowl with a tsp of blue cheese and stir it into the soup.

Serves 4.

Note:  Blue cheese adds a hint of creaminess to the soup.  Smoked blue cheese is even better.  You can also substitute a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche for the same effect.

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  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    Ouch. Even I felt the sting from that slap. What the F! I can’t get over how gorgeous the first photo is. It’s perfect. Bread. Soup. Cheese. Come on crisp fall evening…

  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    oh no! I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t eat huge chunks of bread with soup! This looks great though – I’m definitely saving this recipe!

  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    Your soup looks wonderful, especially with the bit of cheese on top. I haven’t heard of smoked blue, but will have to find some. Yum.

  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    Soup without crusty bread is sacrilege, I’m sure. I love fall soups – and so, so easy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    A gorgeous soup! Very healthy and delicious.



  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    I have never cook this squash before, so I was happy to see it in a recipe by a blogger I know I can trust and follow! Yeah, bread and babies not always a great match, especially at this point. Both of you ladies need to eat right for the duration!

  • October 1, 2010 - | Permalink

    Doctors ruin all the fun sometimes! This soup looks great and timed perfectly from the season that is Fall!


  • October 2, 2010 - | Permalink

    Ouch! I felt that slap too! It’s hard enough being pregnant, but having to figure out a whole new way of cooking. Although, I’ll trust that your midwife is looking out for the benefit of your baby and you.

  • October 2, 2010 - | Permalink

    Perfect soup for autumn!! :)

    And I hope you stay strong!!!

  • October 2, 2010 - | Permalink

    Aw, man, sad about slowing down on the baking…but it’s for the best and only for a few more months (wow, just a few more months!). I love to bake but have been trying to limit myself to baking on the weekends (except for things like the recent bran muffins). Thanks for your comment, btw, and for the great recipe. I have to say hormones did cross my mind about the little breakdown.

    This soup looks great. Question, does this squash taste anything like acorn squash? I love squash but have never been a fan of acorn.

    Be well and bon courage for the change in diet.

    • redmenace
      October 2, 2010 - | Permalink

      Hi Julia,
      Been thinking about whether it tastes like acorn squash and I’m not sure how to respond except to say…. Maybe. There’s a similarity, for sure. I think it tastes buttery, eathy, and, if this is possible, a touch meaty. I think the flavor of acorn squash, however is much stronger. Hope that helps! xoxo

  • October 2, 2010 - | Permalink

    Usually there isn’t quite so much worry about carbs — is the midwife concerned about gestational diabetes? But no worries, you’ll be back to carbohydrate bliss in no time! Squash is a great way to compensate. Nigel Slater’s chickpea with pumpkin, lemongrass and coriander is a favorite here: Very substantial, with or without the rice of course.



  • October 3, 2010 - | Permalink

    Nice post! I had no idea about pregnancy and the carbs. Very interesting. I love squash/pumpkin soups. This weekend i made three different kinds, i was experimenting and it was lots of fun. I will post them this week.

  • October 3, 2010 - | Permalink

    A beautiful delicata squash came in my farm share this week. I’ve been eyeing it all weekend, and trying to figure out what I’d like to do with it. This soup is now a strong contender. So many squash soups out there are waaaay too sweet, I find. I like that this one’s decidedly savory.

    p.s. I’ve just discovered this beautiful blog of yours. I’ll be back!

  • October 3, 2010 - | Permalink

    My doc was worried about gestational diabetes when I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy w/ Dexy, but I tested every morning and after every meal and I was never able to get a “diabetic” reading. That said, I went two weeks past my due date AND Dexy was an 11 pound, 6 oz (23 1/2″) baby. Needless to say, she cooked a little longer than she needed to, I rarely ate bread or carbs while I was pregnant. It just didn’t sit well with me at all (nor did orange juice for that matter), all I wanted was sushi and watermelon. Bread just made me feel too full and full wasn’t a good feeling.

    Anyway, I don’t say this to scare you. You are way more teeny than me, and I was already heavy when I got knocked up. I was bound to have a ginormous baby. And ultimately, the midwife (or doc) doesn’t REALLY know how big that baby girl is going to be until she shows up. You’ll be okay, no matter what! Just do what feels best to YOU (w/ guidance from your midwife of course). Meanwhile, I’m thinking I need to make this soup right now.


  • October 3, 2010 - | Permalink

    PS I stupidly just realized that sushi and watermelon ARE carbs. D’oh! Never mind. LOL.

    • redmenace
      October 8, 2010 - | Permalink

      Either way, sushi and watermelon are wonderful. I could eat a bunch of either right now. Thanks, Cheryl! xo

  • October 3, 2010 - | Permalink

    What a lovely, simple fall squash soup. If you can still have that, then I say the low-carb thing is doable. :o)

    Looking forward to seeing the autumn recipes, even though you can’t take participate as much as you’d like.


  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    What gorgeous squash! I bet they made wonderous soup!

    I bet it was enjoyed by you and baby alike, she may not have tasted it, but the nutrients from squash are certainly good for her.

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    A comforting healthy soup! Love it!

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    Ooh, your soup is so simple, Robin, yet it sounds amazing. I will keep my eye open for this type of squash at the market. Oh, and, yes, it is so important to watch carb amounts as well as types (whole grain!) while pregnant. Though I understand your desire to eat large amounts of fluffy, wonderful bread;)

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    your soup looks great + it’s with a squash i haven’t yet tried. new is a good thing.

    i’m so glad to hear that you’re making adjustments with a positive attitude. your love for that little girl will just keep growing; even after every second you think it can’t any longer. i’m sure post-baby your homebaked goods in continued appreciative moderation will feed the both of you in the best ways.

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    Just beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever tried Delicata – something I’ll need to remedy soon with a trip to the farmers market. Sorry to hear that you’ll need to limit your carb intake, but very glad that your little girl is doing well.

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    Is that almost no knead bread I see or is to peasant style? :) I love squash in soups. They are wonderful and I can’t get enough of them. I have not had this squash. I want to give it a try. I’m sure you’re gaining weight as you should be! Get this. A friend’s sister is having twins. One baby is 8 lbs; another is 9 lbs! Full term. Unheard of for multiple births when you generally see babies under 6 lbs. Can you imagined 17 pounds of baby?! That’s over 20% of my body weight!

  • October 4, 2010 - | Permalink

    Ahhh no carbs, I don’t know how you can do it! But I won’t talk about it now, I also am taking a step away from carbs for dreams of bahamas and bathing suits…I love delicata squash! I also see some delish looking blue cheese…ah a perfect soup. Thanks for this xo e

  • October 5, 2010 - | Permalink

    Oh man. That sucks. I treasured those limited days of feeling like I could eat whatever I wanted. Then I had the babies and realized maybe I should have been a little more careful… Anyway, I’ve seen you recently and I think you look fantastic. Delicata squash is my absolute favorite and I totally agree with you on roasting squash before using it in soup. It is magical!

  • October 5, 2010 - | Permalink

    i’ve been leaving out of butternut squash soup for like a week, i just love it that much… i have never tried delicata but i’ll be looking for it at the store

  • October 5, 2010 - | Permalink

    I was looking at the stack of gorgeous fall squash as I left the grocery store wishing I knew how best to prepare each one. This soup sounds like a winner for delicata, thanks for sharing. Wishing you and the baby girl the best :)

  • October 6, 2010 - | Permalink

    I have never cooked with this type of squash, but now I will surely try it. I am so glad we can now start cooking our Fall recipes and I will add this to mine right now. Thanks.

  • October 7, 2010 - | Permalink

    Gorgonzola and delicata FTW!

  • Jean Jean Vintage
    October 7, 2010 - | Permalink

    I am making this tonight! Thank you for reading my mind and posting a great squash soup recipe :)

  • October 13, 2010 - | Permalink

    By my ninth month, I was horrified by the fact that I weighed as much as my husband did when we first met. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror looking at my huge belly and wondering where it could possibly disappear to after my son was finally born. Trust me, it does eventually return to normal! Now my thighs on the other hand, hmmm….

    Have you had to start raiding your husband’s closet yet?

    • redmenace
      October 13, 2010 - | Permalink

      Ha ha. Lisa! Let’s not talk about thighs….. And, yes, I’m raiding his closet daily!

  • Blair Destro
    October 20, 2010 - | Permalink

    Just found you by Googling Delicata Squash Soup. I’m getting the ingredients this morning. Happy to find more local bloggers to take advantage of what grows outside. I’ll look forward to future posts.
    Take care.

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  • Transgrade
    October 26, 2010 - | Permalink

    You sort of blue my mind when you wrote smoked blue cheese. Now I can’t stop thinking about this…

  • November 10, 2010 - | Permalink

    Amazing! This soup is PERFECT for a cold Autumn night such as this. I went out on a limb and added some farmers market potatoes and it thickened the soup a bit more than you probably intended but it’s delish!

    Thanks again for another great recipe.

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  • June 18, 2011 - | Permalink

    Great Great blog! really enjoyed my visit and will come back again soon!

  • Tim from MA
    October 25, 2011 - | Permalink

    Hey there,

    I made this for a little dinner party this weekend, and it was amazing! I’m a vegetarian, so I was going to substitute veggie stock, but I didn’t have time to prepare it. So… I sauteed a shallot, a leak, two carrots, and two celery sticks in the butter and then added water, thyme, and rosemary to let it all stew. Hurray for hand blenders, they’re my favorite!

    The blue cheese was an AMAZING touch, I loved it. Thanks for everything you do!


    • redmenace
      October 25, 2011 - | Permalink

      I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • November 1, 2011 - | Permalink

    I made this with slight variations and it was delicious. I am posting my steps on my blog and crediting you for the recipe, if that’s alright. I hope it is — I was terribly pleased with the soup.

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