Saturday, April 4, 2009

Delicious Squash Soup in April

My neighbor brought over a giant squash last week. I was shocked! A locally grown, northwest squash in spring? Her friend runs a local CSA and had grown it over the winter, apparently. It was pumpkin-esque in size and color but definitely all squash. So one day my kind neighbor brought over this squash and some recipes to go with it. Last night I experimented.

First of all, opening the squash is a story in itself. In general, I find it very traumatic to use giant butcher knives, and I had to wrestle this thing while trying to cut into it. My imagination immediately takes me to the emergency room where my husband is carrying a bag of my chopped-off fingers on ice. Someone else must have used their imagination, too, because I had assistance opening the squash. I'm considering using an axe next time.

Scooped out the giant seeds to pick through and save for planting, then baked the giant halves at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or so. When the flesh was soft, I tasted it. Delicious, but very different from other squash tastes. It tasted very sweet and meaty.

I let the squash cool and then sauteed onions in olive oil and butter and whipped up the rest in the blender before pouring the entire batch of pureed squash soup ingredients into a large pot to simmer. I didn't add curry until everything was simmering on the stove.

I kept returning to the kitchen and dipping in a large wooden spoon to taste. It was so good. It's times like these that I wish my husband ate more than chocolate and cheese and steak. It's amazing to look at our plates of food, which are usually entirely different substances (mine vegetable, his rare meat) and see that both of our foods are able to nourish us.

If any of your winter squash has made it this far without molding, try this recipe. It's so good, I prepared to eat five bowls of it but one bowl was very filling.

Let me know if you try this recipe and tinker with the ingredients. I did. I'm giving you the list of ingredients/amounts that I used, taken from another recipe. I would love to know what you do with this.

Curry Squash Soup

Bake or steam squash, after scooping out seeds. Use squash meat after baking, discard peel.
1 onion chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1/4 C. spelt flour
1/2 C. cream/dairy alternative
4 C. or more water
1 tsp spike as "broth" in water
2 C. apple juice
1 tsp or so curry powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Sautee onion in olive oil and butter. Add flour and some water to make roux.
2. Put 1/2 squash meat in blender with 1/2 of left over ingredients. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into large pot.
4. Repeat step 2 with leftover squash and ingredients.
5. Simmer on low or medium-low for 30 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally. Add curry, salt and pepper to taste.



Michelle said...

I love those big squashes that you don't even know the name of. They're so beautiful! I am making peanut butter chili with squash tomorrow for a cooking class. It's delicious!

My Year Without said...

I would LOVE to know your recipe for the peanut butter chili. That sounds incredible. I've heard of people using beer in chili, but never peanut butter! On my honeymoon in Belize, we had the tastiest hot chocolate and we finally had to ask what their secret was. Peanut Butter!