Sunday, December 4, 2011

Squash Soup

Squash soup

This recipe is inspired by the winter squash soup in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

I would have made this soup entirely with kabocha squash, and that is what I would advise you to do, but the one I purchased had way less innards than it seemed to have when I got it. In the interests of journalistic transparency, I am including the butternut squash that I actually used as part of the total squash. (See previous post.)

A large kabocha squash, (no need to peel it - the kabocha skin will be soft enough to go in the soup, but the butternut skin is very tough.)
Half a medium sized butternut squash – peeled and cut into inch cubes, (about 4 cups total squash after roasting,)
6 cloves garlic sliced,

Olive oil, about ¼ cup,
A small bunch of sage leaves,

A large white or yellow onion, chopped,
A cup of chopped celery,
3 medium carrots chopped,
6 cups vegetable broth,
About 12 grinds of pepper,
Salt if needed

About a teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ cup parsley,

¼ cup candied pepitas*
some feta cheese, crumpled.

Cut the kabocha in half, remove the seeds and fibers, and brush the halves of the kabocha  and the chunks of butternut with olive oil. (I cut the butternut into cubic inch chunks, as it was thicker, tougher, and would take more time to cook.)   Put the garlic cloves in the kabocha halves, turn them onto a cookie sheet, cut side down. Roast at 375° for about half an hour, until tender..

Meanwhile, in a small pan, fry the sage leaves for about a minute, until they are dark.  Remove the leaves from the oil, and set them aside on a paper towel.

In your soup pot, using sage leaf oil, sauté the onion until translucent, add the celery and carrot for a few turns.  When the squash is ready, add it to the vegetables, and give a few more turns.  Add the broth, the thyme, the pepper, and salt if needed.  Simmer for about twenty minutes, or until all the vegetables are softened.  Moosh it up with your immersion blender until mostly smooth, but with a few chunks remaining to give a more interesting texture.  Stir in the chopped parsley.

Garnish with sage leaves, and pass around the pepitas and feta cheese in separate bowls for a further individual garnish.

Candied pepitas

¼ cup pepitas
2 tablespoons (or more) sugar

Put the pepitas and the sugar in a small frying pan, and stir constantly over high heat until the sugar melts and the pipitas are coated.  Add more sugar if necessary.  That is all there is to it.  


Samos said...

Looks squishy...

Marta said...

If Joanna created the dish it has to be good.
Will warm you up on a cold day.

Laura said...

Looks delicious-especially with the sage. I am usually put off by trying to cut into the hard kabocha squash though! I'll have to find out your technique as you made it sound like a snap.

Lorette said...

Yum! We had squash soup last week. We've had a surplus of winter squash from our winter CSA share, so I'm trying to come up with interesting things to do with it. Squash risotto is good, too. Just make a plain risotto, and stir in the roasted squash cubes at the end.