As much as we love summer and wish it would have been longer, September has arrived and with it cooler days and evenings. Though the days are shorter, with kids back in school some folks have more time to think about their meals and what they should eat. It is a great time to prepare meal ideas in advance, cook and freeze various dishes and reap the bounty of fall fruits and vegetables.
Last week, while we had some cooler days I decided to put some of those fall products to use and made a delicious squash apple soup. I also put together a delicious vegetable curry and a plum/rhubarb/raspberry crisp. Today I will share my recipe for the soup but will share the others at another time.
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3-4 T. avocado oil
2-3 apples, peeled and diced (Macintosh or Granny Smith are my preference)
1 large butternut squash (or a medium hubbard or a smallish pumpkin)
1 T. curry powder
1 tsp. of ground ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ground cloves
2-4 cups of vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
There are several ways to prepare squash; however, for this recipe, I scoop out seeds and pulp (setting the seeds aside to roast while the soup is cooking). Once all stringy flesh is removed, I cut up the squash into pieces that will fit into my steamer. My steamer is like a double boiler with holes in the upper pan. I put 1½ cups of water in bottom pan, fill the top one with squash pieces and steam until flesh is tender, reserving the remaining liquid for the soup broth.
While the squash is steaming, sauté the onions, shallots, celery and garlic in the avocado oil until onion is transparent. Add the curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add water from steamed squash (once you have ensured that the squash is cooked) and the diced apple. Spread the squash out on a tray to cool. Once it has cooled enough to handle, gently scrape flesh from the skin and add to the liquid and apple in the pan. Add vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, enough to fully cover squash, apples, and onion mixture. Allow mixture to simmer for 45 minutes to ensure it is fully cooked. Using an immersion or hand blender, puree soup until smooth, adding more broth if needed until it reaches the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish each serving with a spoonful of roasted seeds.
I always roast my squash/pumpkin seeds to garnish and add a little crunch to my soup. To do this, separate the seeds from the pulp and wash them in a strainer to have them as pulp free as possible. In a small bowl, to the seeds, add 1 T. avocado oil, 1 tsp. onion or garlic salt and 1 tsp. of paprika. Mix seeds well until evenly coated and then spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F stirring every 15 minutes until evenly baked (they will become a deep golden brown).
Susan is our resident vegan. She’s been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. She has researched both lifestyles extensively and is constantly exploring new recipes, add her own twist. She is a long time SPUD customer, and now our very own resident vegan blogger!