Winter Squash Soup

Recently I purchased a sweet meat squash at the produce stand I frequent. Never had this type of squash before. The woman there told me it’s like a cross between a golden delicious and a delicata, both of which I haven’t had either. Basically it’s sweeter and more flavorful than butternut and acorn, the two squash varieties I know well. For $2 I couldn’t go wrong, plus it was a biggie too. She was definitely right, so I turned this sweet meat into a soup.

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I got married this summer and my wife and I splurged some of our wedding money on a Blendtec blender. All I have to say is WOW. Since I grew the largest vegetable garden this summer to date, I have made many fruit and veggie smoothies and this thing pulverizes anything you throw at it. It even attempted to shred Chuck Norris, but that’s another story.

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Roasting the squash first releases the sweet flavors and of course softens the meat up for blending later. I used some winter spices and herbs for the soup: cinnamon, coriander, and sage.

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Top it off with some marscapone to give it not only a nice visual appeal, but the creamy goodness of marscapone melts in the soup slowly.

Winter Squash Soup

4 lbs squash (any winter variety), halved and seeds removed
2 T olive oil
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, celery, and onion, diced
8-10 fresh sage leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 t ground coriander
A pinch of chili powder
1 1/2 t kosher salt, more as needed at the end
1/2 t black pepper
1/3 c heavy cream (optional)
marscapone cheese and sage for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 F with a rack in the middle.

After removing squash seeds, brush the meat and cavity with 1 T olive oil. Place cut side up on a pan and roast about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a knife is pierced through easily.

In a heavy bottomed pot such as a dutch oven, add the other 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the apple, carrots, celery, onion, sage, cinnamon, coriander, and chili powder. Cook stirring occasionally for about 7-10 minutes to soften everything.

When the squash is ready, scoop meat out and add to the pot. Add the broth and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom for about 15 minutes.

In small batches, fill your blender with soup and pulverize until creamy. Make sure to allow a lot of head space for steam and material expansion. Most blenders have a liquid fill line. Blenders with tight fitting lids may need the central port open (so cover with a towel). The other option is to use an immersion blender to do this in the pot. I have one of these as well, but the Blendtec works WAY better.

At this point you can add cream if you wish for a richer consistency. Taste for salt and pepper needs and serve, topped with some extra diced sage for garnish and a scoop of marscapone cheese.

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