Sep 16, 2007
Spicy Roasted Winter Squash Soup
It's time again for winter squash, one of my favorite foods. A recent trip to Yakima afforded us the chance to buy a large amount of a wide variety of winter squash for $.40 a pound at Jones Farm. Paired with red pepper, onion, garlic, jalapeno and the right spices, this is a soup that will warm you and fill you up.
I always roast the veggies that will become my soups. Roasting adds a depth of flavor that simply isn't possible with boiling or steaming. I split the squash and season it heavily with a variety of spices including sambar powder, ground cloves, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground corriander and garam masala. Don't be shy with the spices because squash really eats up spice. And I'd rather have roasted spices than add them later when rewarming the soup. The spices really don't get cooked and I don't like that raw taste of spices. I also salt the squash but not too heavily yet. I roast these face down in a roasting pan until tender. Temperature is usually around 400.
At the same time I take one medium onion, one jalapeno, 4-6 cloves garlic, and one large red pepper and give them a rub with olive oil. Place these in a pan and also roast. The garlic will be removed first - just when it turns slightly golden. The jalapeno is next because these can quickly get roasted to oblivion. The onion won't take as long as the red pepper but close. The red pepper will take longest because you want to skin to darken. Let these cool while the squash is cooking.
Once cooled, peel the skin from the peppers and remove the seeds. Into the food processor goes the peppers, onion, garlic, a handful of cilantro and about 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter. Please people, get away from that sugar-packed peanut butter. Peanut butter should contain the following: peanuts (sometimes salt too). Blend this well and maybe thin with hot water and remove to soup pot.
Also in the meantime I've taken one vegetable boullion cube and disolved it in a quart of hot water. This is my broth for the soup. Squash soup soakes up the fluid so you might even need more.
Once the squash are tender, remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, spoon out the squash and, in two batches, blend the squash in the food processor, thinning with the veggie broth. Add the thinned, blended squash to the soup pot and warm to a serving temperature. You can also add about a cup of skim milk to help thin at this point. I don't use cream or butter in any of my soups and I get plenty of compliments. Why? Because they taste damn good. Sometimes I'll use goat's milk but that's as many extra calories and fat that I'll add to a soup. I love soup. I don't want dessert - I want soup. And I want to be able to eat my fill without saturated fat and cholesterol.
So here are the ingredients that I used:
* 1 winter squash of your choice
* 1 large red pepper
* 1 medium onion
* 1 jalapeno pepper
* 4-6 cloves garlic
* handful of cilantro
* 1 vegetable boullion cube dissolved in one quart hot water
* variety of seasonings:
coarse salt to taste