The weather gets nippy and we begin to crave soup, soup, and MORE soup. But different.
(NOTE: this recipe was originally on our LiveJournal version of Starving Artists, but since we just came into a free post-Halloween pumpkin, I'm making it that way. clean out, cut up, and steam pumpkin till tender, just like the squash...)
This one is rich and delicious as well as different...I made it with a twist, this time. Chicken! (Yes, more things to do with a roast chicken, though this one was hickory smoked...somehow the thought of that lovely smoky flavor with this particular soup recipe just sounded right!)
As usual, we ate fresh hot chicken as soon as we got home with it–that hickory chicken smell was too tempting!–then J. pulled the meat off the bones for me and I boiled the bones for soup stock...again rescuing about another cup of meat in the process.
Alternatively, we use breakfast sausage, browned, which is luscious!
This is delicious without meat, too, though, so if you prefer a vegetarian version just leave it out! The squash itself is wonderfully good for you--check out the info here: www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2001002.html
one large sweet onion
a winter squash (we like butternut squash for this--and of course if you can get organic, all the better)
1-2 cloves of garlic (or the jarred, minced stuff)
5-6 cups of soup stock, preferably home made
1 C. or so of diced chicken, unless you’re skipping meat
Or saute and crumble breakfast sausage--about a lb.
1 T. butter or olive oil (organic, if you can swing it!)
dash of sea salt
a generous grating of fresh pepper
and (optional) about a half bottle of hard cider
dollop of sour cream or plain lowfat yogurt, also optional
dash of hot sauce, optional squared...
Peel and chop the onion into about ½" pieces, and brown lightly in the hot oil–you can use the pot you’re going to cook the soup in, if you like. Add the garlic. Keep stirring while you slice and dice the squash...
It’s not easy to deal with (winter squash has a tough skin, which some of us could use!), so get the longest-necked butternut squash you can fine–the neck has no pith or seeds, just good eating that’s easiest to get at! Cut into rounds and peel, then dice. When you get to the body of the squash, scrape out the pith and seeds, then peel and dice the meat as normal.
(I’ve got a buddy who doesn’t waste a thing–he cleans the seeds, toasts them, and eats them for crunchy nutritious snacks. They’re REALLY good, but there aren’t a whole lot of seeds in a squash. Maybe if we do a pumpkin later...)
(And of course, we can put the leavings in the compost heap--we don't waste all THAT much...)
You can of course use any winter squash you prefer–acorn, turk’s head, whatever...this is just fairly simple, delicious, and almost always available at the store.
So. Dump in the soup stock, cider, and squash, along with the meat, and any seasonings, and simmer till the squash is soft.
Squish up as much of the squash if you can with a potato masher or big spoon (if I’m doing the vegetarian version I just toss it in the blender, but I don’t much care for puree’d meat. Reminds me of baby food...).
Serve with that optional dollop of sour cream or yogurt and an artful swirl of hot sauce and dive in! It will warm you from the inside out...
This is SO good, I made another version of it...we'll share it soon!
Oh my–I wonder if there’s a similar recipe in this book!?
(And sorry, you can't actually look inside unless you hit the text link above--I just couldn't manage a different view of it!)
I love the picture of the pumpkin bowls on the front! (Guess our butternut squash would make pretty small bowls, though...)
I went looking for the soup tureen I remembered, which would be such fun to serve this in–shaped like a big pumpkin–and instead found Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur (Winterthur Book)! WOW. As someone in love with our history and with good food, this is terribly tempting...I still want to go to Winterthur, in Wilmington, Delaware! http://www.winterthur.org/
Wonder if they have reproduction tureens in their museum store? http://www.winterthur.org/visiting/museum_stores.asp?sub=museum_stores (Sorry for the long link, I hope it holds!)
There is EVERYTHING on YouTube...here’s a recipe for organic butternut squash soup from the Hippy Gourmet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsV8csQQKlk
And of course I have things there too...how-to slideshows for artists, mostly, here: http://au.youtube.com/user/KateJosTube
As always, we'd love to hear what you think--going for that Five Chef's Hat rating, y'know...
For the artists out there...the illustration was done on hot press Fabriano watercolor paper, with burnt sienna ink and mostly Kremer Pigments watercolors. I blotted the wash while still wet to give some definition to the shape of the squash...