Autumn seems to scream, “SOUP! FIX THE FAMILY SOME SOUP!”
Of course you could pick up a can of soup somewhere but soup from scratch, seasoned to your specific preference is so delicious. Squash soup is particularly filling, nutritious and easy to prepare!
Turban squash came to my attention when I went through my “Macrobiotic Phase” … I had never seen one of these beauties before and was fascinated by their unusual color and shape. Turban squash are very dense and difficult to cut but once you’ve managed to open them up it is a breeze to oil the exposed flesh and place them on a baking sheet, flesh side down. I roasted two of these babies in the oven for about an hour and a half at 325*. Ovens vary…ours runs hot so you can see if 350* is good for YOUR oven. Adjust the temperature accordingly.
As the roasting process went on I chopped a huge leek into rings, soaked them in a bowl full of cold water. I rinsed them and cut the rings into quarters. I sauteed these with a bit of veg oil until they were soft, adding salt and pepper.
When the squash came out of the oven, I scooped out the seeds. Some folks like to roast those with a bit of salt for a snack. Those are not popular at our house so I disposed of them, as I did with the outer shell.
The dark yellow-orange flesh of the squash went into the food processor, as did the sauteed leeks.
SIDEBAR: No food processor? Not to worry. A potato masher works quite well. The job will go faster if you add a bit of hot water and/or broth to your soup pot as you mash. The idea is to break up the stringy pulp that remains so your soup will be smooth. END SIDEBAR.
From the food processor the squash and leeks went into the soup pot, along with enough chicken broth to cover everything. You could use vegetable broth, as well. It’s a matter of using whatever you have. After tasting this mixture I added a bit more salt and ONE TABLESPOON of brown sugar. That was the magic bullet!
To make a thicker soup I added 1 tablespoon of corn starch. That didn’t quite DO it for me, so I put in some leftover mashed potatoes that were just sitting in the fridge, waiting to be of service. When I was satisfied that the soup was thick enough I called it quits. I wanted this to be smooth and creamy so I added milk until it had the consistency and color that pleased me. You might prefer a thinner soup…it’s all about what YOU like.
As the soup gently simmered I taste tested it again. It needed just a little something/something so I added a tiny bit of thyme. I thought it was yummy but to make sure, I offered a spoonful to our house guest, who raved that it was “BRILLIANT!”. Before I served the soup, I sprinkled some dried parsley into the pot to add some color.
SIDEBAR: Had it been available, fresh parsley would have been ideal. I dunno about YOU but we don’t have the luxury of fresh herbs so we lean on the dried versions. END SIDEBAR.
We had half a dozen lunch guests on the day this was served. Each of them has far more experience in the kitchen than I. Everyone complimented the cook on the soup so I think that qualifies me to announce that Turban Squash Soup was a huge hit!
*I should have made a double batch! It would be easy to do and that way there could be another meal, waiting in the freezer!
Changing the subject abruptly, I want to let you know that there will be a cooking class for users of EBT cards from WIC, food pantry users, and those who have food commodities! It will be held on Friday, November 14 at 1:30 PM at the SENCA office in Tecumseh, Nebraska. If you are in the area and wish to participate, just call the SENCA office to let them know you’ll be there. There is NO CHARGE for this class but we need to count noses so we’ll have enough food for the attendees! I plan to show how to use things from your food bundles that are easy, cheap and tasty!
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