Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roasted Squash Soup (Recipe)

Roasted Squash Soup
This recipe makes some delicious squash soup, which is a healthy way to keep yourself warm as the evenings turn cool. If you like a creamy, herby, or spicy soup, there are some flavor variations included below. I recommend using a sweet, dense-fleshed winter squash such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha. Alternatively, you could use half squash and half sweet potatoes. Recipe makes 4-6 servings.

4 cups roasted winter squash, peeled and cubed (Note: this is about two medium sized squash. Roasting directions are below.)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 stick celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cups water for roasting
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste (amount also depends on the saltiness of your stock)
Optional Creamy Addition: half a cup of cream, “half and half”, soymilk, coconut milk, or almond milk
Garnish with: a spoonful of Greek yogurt or a sprig of fresh parsley in each bowl

Optional herb and spice twists (if you wish, choose one of these and add a greater amount of the flavoring if needed):
Parsley: Half a cup of chopped parsley. Puree squash soup first and then add the parsley at the end, just before turning off the heat.
Pumpkin pie spice: Half a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Curry: 1 teaspoon of curry powder
Nutmeg: Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
Ginger: Half an inch of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped, added at saute stage
BBQ: 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
Citrus: Half a cup of orange juice, plus the zest of one lemon or lime
Spicy: 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced, added at the saute stage
Healthy: Half a cup or one cup of finely chopped garden greens, such as spinach, chard, arugula, kale, collards, or mache. Puree squash soup first and then add the greens at the end, cooking them for just a minute or two before turning off the heat.

Roasting  the Squash
Wash the squash. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. In a large roasting pan, place squash halves cut side down and then fill bottom of pan with a cup or so of water. Cook in oven at 375 F degrees, adding more water if the pan dries out. Cook for 30 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Remove from oven, let squash cool, and peel off skin. Cut roasted squash into one inch cubes.

Recipe Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute it for two minutes. Then add the garlic, carrots, and celery, sauteing it until the onion is translucent. If the garlic starts to turn brown, pour in some vegetable stock and immediately move onto the next step (or else it will turn bitter).
2. Add the roasted, cubed squash, the dry white wine, and the vegetable stock.  Add the salt, pepper, or any optional flavoring. Bring soup to a boil, cover pot, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until all ingredients are soft, then turn off heat and let soup cool for awhile.
3. Puree soup using blender, food processor, or hand blender. Once it is smooth, pour pureed soup back into the big pot. Taste it and season it as needed, using salt and pepper as well as any of the optional herb or spice flavorings. Add the optional cream or cream substitute. Stir in any of these new ingredients and, if necessary, cook the soup a little longer. Then turn off the heat, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from "Butternut Squash Soup" at