Last Thursday, my last installment of veggies from our CSA (Hay River Farms in WI) arrived, heavier than ever. A dark green pumpkin to which the kids frowned upon and more squash, bringing our total to 14. Last week I took care of the bunches of swiss chard in a time-consuming Martha quiche that no one in the family but me really liked. Next week, we’ll tackle the turnips.
Today, I was going with an old recipe standby that Cheryl, a friend of my mother-in-law’s, entered as page number one in my wedding recipe binder: Curried Squash Soup. The kids were disinterested in helping beyond the carving out of the squash seeds from the cooked halves. Ava, my 8 year-old, agreed that at least she could contribute some time to the task.
Then I was on my own. With the oven at 350 the six medium squash, halved, cooked for 50 minutes while I went for a quick fall run. I left the kitchen-vigilant Calvin, my 6 year-old, in charge of overseeing the squash. After I took them out and let them cool, I scraped out the squash from the skin in one very large bowl. From there, I immediately pureed the squash in very small batches in my mini food processor. (Note: Christmas List for this year to include some new appliances!) Several messy minutes later, I had about 12 cups of squash.
The recipe called for four pounds of it, which after a Google search I equated to mean 8 cups. Since I had 12, I increased the recipe by half – -always a questionable move. I added too much butter as a result, but passed on some of the cream. Modifications are the mark of a talented chef, right?
Despite doing several things not quite right (which is a great reason to make soup – see the movie Ratauoille), the soup tasted pretty darn good. Ava tried some and liked it. Calvin held off, watching me partake in it with his srunched up nose. Yes, there is grass (chives) dashed on the top. I thought that might intrigue him, but no.
Plenty of time to warm up to the soup though… seeing as though I now have about 18 cups of it. I’ll freeze it in smaller containers for winter consumption. Thanks to farmer Mike of Hay River Farms for three and a half months of fresh veggies and a lot a new experiments in the kitchen. If anyone knows what to do with turnips, drop me a line.
Curried Squash Soup
4 pounds of butternut squash (about 2 large), halved, seeded
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onion
5 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup chopped chives
Preheat oven to 350. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Scoop out the squash pulp, discard skin.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, curry and allspice and saute until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer 1/4 cup of onion mixture, 1/4 of squash and 1 cup of stock to blender. puree. Pour into heavy large saucepan. Puree remaining onion mixture, squash and stock in blender in three more batches. Add to saucepan. Add half & half to saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving. Mix chives into soup.