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Recipe Challenged: Pumpkin Squash Soup
I don't like to cook. I love watching the food channel cooks in action, love scouring recipe books, reading about food, the discovery, the investigation. But cooking is a mystery to me. I have no intuition, no sense of fun or adventure, and, worse, it's a chore. Kinda sad. Funny I'd have a real food blog, eh? Maybe I'll change my perspective along the way!
I do LOVE to eat, however, especially real foods. Luckily, I married an ex-restaurateur who can forage in an empty pantry and come up with a yummy meal! He is as into real food as I am, too. He actually reads labels now, which is good since he does the food shopping.
See these great looking squash? (Squashes? Squashi?) I'm yearning for some of my friend Ginnee's awesomely good pumpkin soup. So yearning, I'm actually going to have a go at making it myself. Yeah, daring. Move over, Evil Knievel.
I bought these at a roadside stand just outside Lexington. A roadside stand on a very busy highway that was selling squash and pumpkins on the honor system! I love it. There's even a little sign informing us who to make out the checks to. I chose my two beauties and stuffed $6 in the box.
You wouldn't see this in Costa Rica. Not a chance. The biggest downside to life in Costa Rica, as long as you aren't poor which would be a bigger downside, is petty theft. I must say, I enjoy leaving my house to go somewhere with my entire family and not angsting about whether or not all my stuff will be there when I get back.
My Quick & Easy Squash Soup Recipe idea was to cut them up, boil the life outta 'em with some seasoning, then blend it up. But, since I'm not intuitive and I know it, I thought maybe I'd look for some recipes. I do know I'd have to dig out the innards of the pumpkin, right? That skin does not look like it would add any flavor. Ok, I'm a little intuitive.
First stop is my new copy of Nourishing Traditions (I gave my Costa Rica copy to Sam*. There is a recipe for butternut squash soup, but these aren't butternut. Oddly, there is not a single pumpkin soup recipe there, just ones for pie and pumpkin seeds.
Next stop, Scroogle.org where I find this great, easy, boil 'n blend Pumpkin Soup recipe online, on the heralded New York Times, no less! I'm thrilled. Not only am I way intuitive, I'm gonna have pumpkin soup tomorrow! (Have to make chicken stock today.) Here's the recipe in a nutshell -- lots of variations at the link, too:
PUMPKIN OR SQUASH SOUP Total time: about 45 minutes, 4 servings
2 pounds peeled pumpkin or winter squash (weigh after peeling) 4 to 5 cups chicken or other stock Salt and freshly ground pepper.
1. Place pumpkin or squash in saucepan with stock to cover and a pinch of salt. Turn heat to high and bring to boil. Cover pan, and adjust heat so that the mixture simmers. Cook until pumpkin is very tender, about 30 minutes. If time allows, cool.
2. Place mixture in blender**, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth. (The recipe can be prepared a day or two in advance up to this point; cool mixture, place in a covered container, and refrigerate.) Reheat, adjust seasoning and serve.
Even I can do this! I'm psyched.
I have two questions, please:
1. What is the striped gourd squash? I found a couple of pictures online but not the name. Except one site called it a striped gourd squash. Duh. Doesn't it have a more interesting familiar name? And can I make soup from this? Most recipes I found call for butternut.
2. Do you have any favorite pumpkin or squash recipes? I'd love to hear them. Especially if they are simple! Doesn't have to be soup. Growing up, my mom, an honest-to-God gourmet cook, used to make Spaghetti Squash and Mashed Butternut Squash. Oh my. Butter and squash: there's a combo.
I found this recipe yesterday at Jill's Test Kitchen: Butternut Squash Apple Bacon Soup. Sounds sooooo yummy! I also found this one that is similar but has curry in it. Plus, she prepares her squash and apples a little differently: roasting first, then peeling.
Ok, off to put on the stock. Hmmm. I guess I'll need a chicken first...
* If you don't know who Sam is, meet her here -- scroll down on that post to see her picture!
**Or blend in your handy-dandy Vitamix -- no need to cool or blend in batches. Just put the whole pot of boiling soup in there and blend. If you want a Vitamix, click the link below to get FREE shipping.