Friday, September 21, 2012

Savory Winter Squash Soup

I was never particularly fond of winter squash (other than their beauty) until I started using them in pureed soups, and now they're one of my favorite foods. There are so many varieties and you can do so many different things with them. This soup is rich and savory and kids love it because it's a pretty color and it has no chunks. I love it too. You can use any orange fleshed squash you desire in this recipe. I believe that I had either an orange hubbard or a kuri pumpkin (I'm not exactly sure because they kind of look alike and I got it out of a "variety squash" bin that didn't label each individual squash type).

4 - 4 1/2 lbs. orange fleshed winter squash, any kind
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
Sea salt
6-8 c. vegetable broth (the less you add the thicker the soup will be)
1 1/2 Tbsp. cashew or almond butter
1 Tbsp. tahini (or more cashew or almond butter)
1/4 c. shoyu or tamari
Toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking dish with parchment paper. Wash the squash, cut off the stem, and then attempt to slice it in half and scrape out the seeds with a large spoon. If your cut is off center (like mine was), slice the larger half into halves.

2) Rub the squash with a little olive oil and then place them cut sides down in the prepared baking dish and bake for about 1 hour, until easily pierced with a knife.

3) In a large soup pot heat a little olive oil over medium heat and then add the diced onions, carrots and celery and a sprinkling of sea salt. Saute about 10-12 minutes until softened.

4) Meanwhile, when the squash is cool enough to handle scrape the flesh out with a spoon into a large bowl and set aside.

5) When the vegetables are soft add the broth and squash flesh and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

6) Place the cashew butter and tahini into a small bowl and ladle some of the hot soup liquid over them and dissolve them with a spoon. Then add the dissolved cashew butter & tahini and the shoyu to the pot and continue to simmer the soup for 10 more minutes and then remove it from the heat.

7) Once the soup has cooled a bit puree it with an immersion blender or in a blender. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

This recipe makes about 8 servings.

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