Autumn Soup: The Soup of Three Squashes
When the end of the week is upon you and you still have a ton of produce hanging around that you really meant to eat, really you did, but just didn’t get around to it, this is the soup for you. This happens to me all the time, so I started making vegetable soups on Fridays and Saturdays. You might ask why I keep buying so much produce when I know I won’t eat it. Let’s not open that can of worms…
So, anyway, I had three squashes hanging around.
It’s still about 80 degrees in California, so it doesn’t feel like fall at all, yet. I was hoping this would be a little something to help get in the mood.
First, I cut open the squashes and scraped out the seeds. Then I scored the flesh by dragging my knife first longways, then short ways through each squash without piercing through the skin. The scoring is optional, but it helps the flavor of the oil and herbs to really permeate the flesh.
Rub your chosen squashes with a little oil, and place some fresh (or dried is fine) herbs in the various cavities along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pop the pan in the oven and cook on 400 degrees until a knife easily goes through the flesh.
So pretty. That deep orange color kind of shoots you into Autumn, don’t you think? This would be so fun to use as the base for a soup buffet party. Just make a huge pot of soup and then set out various toppings. Spiced chickpeas, crumbled bacon, maybe some shrimp, some pesto, a spice blend.
I fried some sage leaves in butter to put over the top as a garnish.
Soup of Three Squashes
Enough for multiple servings for 4 – 6 people.
3 small squashes
2 medium onions
3-4 tablespoons walnut oil
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
bunch of fresh sage leaves
3-4 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
4-6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic
1 jalepeno (this doesn’t make it spicy, it just adds a little warmth the the end of the taste, if that makes sense)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 tablespoon olive oil (or avocado oil, or grapeseed oil)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice each squash in half and then score the flesh, making shallow cuts along the length and width of each squash. These cuts should not pierce through the skin. In the end you will have a pattern of square shapes across your squashes. If you are having a hard time, just skip this step, the soup will still be good.
Put the squashes on a baking sheet, flesh side up, and rub your walnut oil into the flesh. Place the fresh herbs on top of the squash halves and finish them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put them into the oven to cook for about an hour, until a fork easily goes through the flesh of the squash.
Meanwhile, place a large soup pot over medium high heat on the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil (or avocado oil) to the pot. While the oil is heating up, chop up your onions, carrots, and garlic. Remove the seeds and the ribs from the jalepeno and chop that as well. The size of the chop doesn’t really matter because the soup will be blended. A rough chop is fine. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions, carrots, garlic, and jalepeno to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent and the carrot is tender.
Add the white wine and let it reduce slightly, for another 3 minutes.
After discarding the cooking herbs, scoop the flesh of each cooked squash out of its skin and add it to the soup pot. Add enough stock to barely cover the top of the vegetables. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Blend the soup with an immersion blender until very smooth. You can also use a regular blender for this as well, just keep the plug out of the hole in the top of the lid, and cover the lid with a dishtowel while blending.
Add 3 tablespoons heavy cream, and stir to incorporate. At this point, taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.
For the sage leaf topping, add 4 tablespoons of butter to a sauce pan over medium low heat until it melts. When it’s warm, add 8 sage leaves and let them bubble in the butter until they are crispy. When ready, remove from butter to a paper towel lined plate.
Ladle soup into bowls, add a sage leaf, and enjoy.