Quite a mouthful. Literally. My Farmer’s Market decided to host a soup swap. I had butternut and acorn squash sitting on my counter forever and more puree in the freezer. This was the perfect excuse to use it, along with some of my other favorite local ingredients!
Local butternut and acorn squash (from the CRFM but I can’t remember which vendor!)
Fabyan’s Sugar Shack Grade B Maple Syrup
Wayne’s Organic Garden Onions & Garlic
Penzey’s Tikka Masala, Garam Masala and Tandoori Spice mixes
Homemade veggie stock (a la The Sweet Beet – see below)
Peel and chop the squash and 2-3 small onions into similar size pieces. Peel 2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on your preference. Throw all the veggies on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and salt. Roast at 400° for about an hour – until the big chunks of squash are fork tender and they are taking on a little bit of color.
You can multitask by roasting all of the veggies while making stock. Take the vegetable scraps (squash peels, garlic and onion skins and begin to sautee them in a little olive oil over medium heat. Once I could smell them, I added the contents of my frozen scrap bin. I keep a container in the freezer to collect scraps until its time to make stock. This one had more onion and garlic remnants and eggshells. I’ve been using this method from The Sweet Beet and saving eggshells and adding a touch of vinegar to my vegetable stock. Anyway, once you can smell the veggies cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer while the veggies in the oven are roasting.
After the veggies are done, take them out and strained the stock. Add them back into the soup pot, add enough stock to cover by a few inches. If you are making a big batch (like 6 quarts big) you may have to use two pots/batches. I then add indian seasonings to taste – I would estimate maybe about 3-5 tablespoons depending on the size of your batch. I also add salt and pepper to taste. If its too hot, you can add a little maple syrup – or you can do both to have a sweet/spicy soup. At this point, I immersion blend the whole thing. You can do it without a hand blender by putting it into a regular blender – just make sure if the soup is hot to vent it and cover the lid with a hand towel – it WILL splatter. Alternatively, you dont have to blend it, but this soup is much better when it is thick and creamy.
1. Change the flavor. I like Indian spices, so I used them here. Squash is such a neutral flavor – your options are really endless. You could easily use sage and/or rosemary, maybe those herbs with apples or pears, sage and brown butter would be lovely. Spanish flavors of pimentón and sherry could also be great. I think I need to make this soup again…
2. Without the eggshells, I believe this recipe would be vegan. Easy to change for your vegan friends!
3. You can always use cream instead of coconut milk, but I am dairy sensitive and I prefer the flavor of coconut milk in this recipe.
4. Serve with crusty bread – naan in my case (don’t I seem to say that with every recipe?) and a drizzle of olive oil.