2 round acorn squash (about the size of large grapefruits)
Extra-virgin oil for brushing, plus 1 tsp
Fresh ground black pepper
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground Nirmala’s Kitchen Madras Curry
1 tsp ground Nirmala’s Kitchen Cumin
1½ cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
Two 3-inch square pieces toast
2 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Cut off tops of the squash about 1 inch from stem end and reserve. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut a very thin slice off bottoms of squash to create a stable base. Using a small paring knife, cut about ¼ inch of the flesh from the perimeter of the insides of the top so that the opening is a bit wider. (Do not trim the outer skin of the squash or the lids will not have a snug fit.) Brush the insides of the squash and the flesh side of the lid with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange squash bowls, with tops alongside, stem-ends up, in a large lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set the pan with squash aside.
4. Increase the oven temperature to broil.
5. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, curry powder, and cumin, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the stock and coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8–10 minutes.
6. Ladle the hot soup into the squash; don’t fill to the rim. Top each with the toast, and sprinkle with the cheeses. Transfer to the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly and brown, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately, each topped with a lid.
Note Squash flesh shrinks during baking; if any holes forms, still serve the soup in the squash but set them in soup bowls.