Velata Ceramic Chef's Knife
As the days get shorter and the nights cooler, my dinners transforms from a cornucopia of fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers to a menu of soups and stews. Packed with squashes and roots, this hearty fare is like a warm, fuzzy blanket for both my stomach and my soul. The sweet and vibrant flesh of autumn's bounty is hard to resist, but even harder to get.
Excited for my first taste of the season's acorn squash, I stood there at my kitchen counter, befuddled as to how I even begin breaking through its bumpy and user unfriendly exterior. Armed with my artillery, the Velata Ceramic Chef's Knife, I was determined to take on the squash's challenge in the name of thick and creamy soup.
While a few gym sessions prior to the task of squash dissection are typically required, the Velata proved its power within one effortless slice. The realization of the blade's sharpness, flashed back my food safety instinct and a couple close calls to keep my fingers curled and away from the blade's path at all times. A few more effortless chops later, I was happily surprised how soon I would be breaking out my soup crocks.
I put the chef's knife through its paces, testing to see what its breaking point would be. A butternut squash, one head of cabbage, a dozen sweet potatoes, and six onions later, I still have yet to find that answer. A key feature of the ceramic knife is its rustproof blade, making for a longtime kitchen partner in squash butchering crime. This knife is, in fact, extremely sharp, so keeping out of reach of children and hand-washing are most recommended.
If you are looking for the key to unlocking the hardy and unforgiving surface of winter squashes and piles of root vegetables, the Velata Ceramic Chef's Knife may just fit the bill. I have a feeling I will be bellying up to more than my fill of buttercups and kabochas this season with my new secret weapon in hand.
Autumn Acorn Squash Soup
Recipe by Emily Cooper, RD, LD
Serves about 6
1 3-pound acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Macintosh apple, cored and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable stock
Optional: Ground nutmeg/ pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- With a sharp knife, cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds.
- Place on a cookie sheet, cut-side down. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until flesh is tender.
- Allow to cool, and scoop out flesh from skin. Discard skin.
- In a large Dutch oven, add olive and heat over a medium flame. Add chopped apple and onion, and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add spices and cook an additional minute.
- Add cooked squash and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
- Working in small batches, carefully transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth (Or, alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree.)
- Serve in 1 cup servings, and top with optional ground nutmeg and pumpkin seeds.