Savory Squash Soup

There are many twists on a squash soup, Herbs, Broth and  the natural sweetness of a winter squash is what gives it the Savory Umami goodness. Umami is word  coined by the Japanese for the flavor that is both savory and has hints of other sensations, a mix of tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Herbiness gives those sensations an oomph!

The staple in a Sqaush soup is generally Butternut squash, But any big meaty Winter Squash can be used including pumpkin. Canned pumpkin can be used as a substitution, if Squash isn’t readily availble. Frozen Butternut squash can be used.

Squash Soup

  • 1 large squash, peeled seeded and cubes into 1 inch pieces- 4-6 cups (large can of pumpkin as a substitute)
  • 1 Box Broth-Vegetable or Chicken, or 4 bullion cubes with 32 oz water
  • 2 Shallots or onion, diced
  • 1 large rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, optional, diced small
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1 tbs, Rosemary/Thyme, and other savory herbs to taste
  • **** cloves garlic optional
  • equipment  needed: Large bowl, Shallow roasting pan,  blender or food processor, saute pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To easy peel squash, make several pircings with a knife or fork,microwave squash for 2 minutes on high. Let set for several minutes, peeling should be much easier

Cube squash into 1″ pieces, uniformity is not important, Toss Squash pieces with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil to coat,  sprinkle  very sparingly with salt and pepper. You can always add salt later,   broth will also add salt. You can never ‘un-salt’ once its done.

Place a single layer of squash on the baking sheet, sprinkle with Dried Spices of choice, If fresh is avaible   use 3 stems of rosemary, 1 tsp of minced thyme. ***  Whole cloves of Fresh garlic can also be roasted with the squash as an option.

Bake squash until fork tender and edges are browned an caramelized, about 30 minutes, The caramelization will sweeten and add to the savoriness.

While the squash is roasting, Saute on low-medium heat, your mirapoix , of chopped celery, shallots, and carrot(optional) in the tsp of olive oil. You may omit the olive oil, and use a cooking spray. Do not allow the veggies to burn,  you may add broth  to the saute pan and cover to soften, it also de-glazes the pan.Once softened allow to cool before blending.

Remove the squash from the oven, and allow to cool before blending, remove the woody stems of rosemary.

In batches, blend the sauteed  vegetables and a cup of cubes at a time with a half cup of broth, add additional  broth if mixture is too thick. After blending pour each batch into a soup pot for further simmering. You will have extra broth leftover, you may need to add to the simmering soup if it is too thick. If  you have  made the soup to thin, you can simmer it longer, it will thicken.

Warm the soup on simmer, the longer it simmers the better it tastes. This is the time to add salt, pepper and additional herbs to taste. Steffie’s rule is, ‘Let the person eating do the salting’!

For a richer soup, add cream to finish and a tablespoon of butter.

Other options, you can add, raw or cooked vegetables, cooked meats, or potatoes to add texture and variety. The possibilities are endless. You can also add other root vegetables to the squash such as Carrot, Fennel Bulb, Parsnips, Celery root, the variations are endless.

You can freeze the finished soup.

Gobble Gobble! Turkey’s not just for Thanksgiving

Turkey breasts and parts are on sale all year round these days, A Sunday Dinner of a turkey breast is not uncommon. Let’s add some yummy recipes for leftover’s. The longer you simmer the better it tastes. Add your favorite spices and vegetables for your own twist.

Go To cheap.com’s page on Turkey leftovers for more recipes.

Turkey soup:

  • 8 cups Turkey or Chicken Broth, substitute 8 cups Water w/chicken bouillon if you’re really cheap. Or cheaper yet make your own broth.
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  •  4  stalks celery chopped
  • 4 carrots diced    *** substitute with 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • Simmer till tender.
  • Add 2 cups diced cooked turkey, bring back to simmer
  • Add 1 cup orzo or small pastina. (Cooked al dente)
    Turn off heat let sit for 1/2 or 1 Hour
  • Heat and Eat, Freeze or Share
  • Makes approx 12 cups

***To make Gluten free add Quinoa or Alternate Gluten Free Pasta

 

Stock The Kitchen, Day Two

If you’re not prepared, a 15 minute meal can take you hours to prepare. Most meals should take 10 minutes or less to prepare, and then you add cooking time. Also, timing is everything,. If the protein takes 25 minutes, pasta shouldn’t be started at the same time. Timing is essential, as well as multi-tasking. For example, you can whip up a salad, while the other ingredients heat in the oven.

Stock the cupboards with staples, your must haves, Use Steffie’s Pantry for a start.

Always have on hand, your favorite Pasta & Sauce, Frozen(steamable) bag vegetables, Rice, Potatoes, and Salad fixins. If you have all that, you can cook anything, and quick.