Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Squash Soup

I talked a little bit before about how my house is being taken over by winter squash and pumpkins.  It doesn't help that I drive past roadside stands in beautiful Lancaster County on a daily basis where long neck pumpkins are as big as medium sized dogs and are for sale for $1.00 (yes...I bought one of those monsters). 

I ended up with a random squash in my CSA that I want to say was a blue hubbard. It wasn't on the pack list so it is really anyone's guess and I could be completely wrong.  Either way, you can turn any winter squash into soup so that is just what I did.  My friend Junes from Painted Parsley made some squash soup recently and some soup also made an appearance on the cover of this month's Vegetarian Times.  Needless to say, that is where I got my inspiration.  Here is my version:

Winter Squash Soup

1 medium Blue Hubbard Squash (about 3 pounds)
1 small Butternut Squash
2 tart green apples
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot's what I had open)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used a box from my pantry)
pinch bay leaves, or one whole one
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

First, cut your squash in half and take out all of the seeds.  Peel and quarter your apples and arrange everything in a baking dish with one cup of water in the bottom.  Cover the dish and roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the rest of your ingredients together. 

Pictured above I have my pinot, veggie stock, minced garlic, crushed up bay leaves and sliced onion.  Once your all prepped, put one teaspoon of olive oil in a pot and throw in your onion.

Saute the onion until it gets soft, about 3 minutes then put in the garlic, bay leaves and white wine. 

Allow to simmer until most of the wine is gone, and add 2 cups of veggie stock.  Bring back to a simmer.  When your pumpkin is finished roasting, start taking the pulp out with a spoon and put it in the soup pot.  You can also throw in your apples too.  Don't worry if there are still some hard pieces in the squash - you aren't finished with it yet!

It will probably look like bad things happened to the squash.  It's ok.  I had a pretty good mess on my hands too.

Once all of the squash and apples are in the pot, add the other 2 cups of vegetable stock and the salt and pepper.  Stir, and put the lid back on and simmer for about 20 minutes.  If you used a whole bay leaf, remove it now.  If you used pieces like me, just leave them in.  Now use an immersion blender or blend the soup in batches in a standing blender until you get a creamy soup with no squash bits. 

Simmer about 10 more minutes and serve.  I garnished mine with croutons like the ones I made in my Romaine Salad, a little light cream,  and a bit of rosemary.  I also added a tiny bit more salt and black pepper to mine when I ate it.  It is a perfect soup for this chilly fall weather.

NOTE: This is completely vegan if you leave off the cream garnish and use olive oil in your croutons instead of butter.


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