Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Seasonal Recipe: Roasted Squash Soup

Remember my Bucket o' Squash? We've been munching our way through them steadily these past few months. Our favourite version du jour is a warming soup to keep the rain at bay. These small squashes have good keeping qualities so they still count as seasonal fare.

I've found roasting them first makes it easier to prise away the flesh from their skin and scoop out the seeds. I pop a couple in the oven on a Sunday alongside the roast, so I'm not using up too much energy in their initial preparation.

I'm also using the tops of my leeks instead of onion - their mildness complements the squash beautifully and it means I can use the greener tops of the leek, rather than adding them to the compost bin. A good dose of home-saved coriander seed adds some warmth and adds a subtle citrus tang too. It's one of my favourite winter flavourings.

The following recipe serves 4 comfortably.


Ingredients

2 small squash or equivalent cut from a larger cousin, about 500g (1lb) uncooked weight
1 litre stock (chicken or vegetable)
Tops of 3 large leeks (about 4-6 inches of viable leek each)
1 large carrot
1 large bay leaf
2 heaped tsp coriander seed, freshly ground
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method
  1. Roast the squash whole for 20-25 minutes in a medium hot oven until softened. Allow to cool - which is why Sunday roasting and Monday soup making works perfectly here at VP Gardens
  2. Add the vegetable or chicken stock to a large pan and bring slowly to the boil
  3. Meanwhile, take off the tough dark green parts of the leek tops and compost them. You'll be surprised how much viable leek there is to be found hidden inside the greenest of tops. Wash out any soil underneath the layers of the leek you'll be using
  4. Slice the leek and carrots and add to the pan
  5. Skin the squash, scoop out the seeds and compost them. You may also need to scrape the skins first to obtain all the flesh suitable for soup making. Add the squash to the pan - any non-scraped flesh should be cut into largish chunks
  6. Add the bay leaf and coriander seed
  7. Add salt and black pepper to taste
  8. Once all the ingredients are assembled and the soup is boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  10. Turn off the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then liquidise the soup with a hand blender*
  11. Reheat the soup, then serve with lots of just-baked homemade bread
* = I keep the bay leaf as it adds some further warmth to the flavour, but you may prefer to remove first

10 comments:

  1. Mmmmm - just the right sort of fare VP - may not keep the rain at bay but must lift the spirits. They must be a good keeper. I've just got one bigger 'Black Futsu' left but it will be gobbled up soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are they the Baby Bear squash? I have some seeds of that variety to sow for this year I'm glad you posted about the keeping ability. I might try a couple of extra plants s I can store some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No they're Jack be little, though baby bear works just as well as does sweet dumpling

      Delete
  3. It sounds delicious VP. I still have two or three squashes here, so I might try some soup with one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I must remember this post as I'm growing mini squashes and leeks this year. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. My pumpkins are the large ones like those for Halloween carving. I too roast them, I do them with onions and garlic, so similar to your leeks really. Haven't thought of using coriander, I usually put some cayenne in for a bit of heat. I love soups in these horrible cold, rainy days.
    Sandra
    rainbowcottagesinfrance.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Brittanygirl - I have some of the larger squash too, but I'm fast coming round to the idea that these smaller ones suit the 2 of us better

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  6. Have you ever tried keeping the skin on? I'm sure I've read it in a recipe somewhere. Little squashes like that might be fine once roasted. More saved!

    We recovered a stash of potatoes in the allotment shed that we never got round to brining home. Soup yesterday; champ tonight. I'll be the size of a house soon.

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    Replies
    1. I must give that a go - thanks for the tip!

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  7. Hi everyone - I hope you'll give this recipe a try, it's delicious :-)

    ReplyDelete

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