Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

What I love about cooking good food is the transformation that happens when basic ingredients get recreated into something marvelously edible, beautiful and healthy.  Local produce, mostly picked from our backyard garden, morphed into a pot of silky smooth delicious soup.

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

I was delighted to find this recipe for Southwestern Winter Squash Soup in this months Food Network issue.  We grow up to 95 winter squash a season and after giving a lot away, still have much of it in cold storage for the winter.  This recipe is a keeper and one we’ll enjoy repeatedly. White corn tortilla’s sautéed in the very beginning, starts the flavor building process, setting the stage for its southwestern flavor.  Whaaaat?  Yep, it’s true. The creativity of this is genius!

 

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

And, please don’t be turned off by the jalapeno, thinking it’s too spicy for your taste.  My husband who doesn’t like spice, raved about this soup.  The pepper added to the south-of-the-border vibe and if you want to add more spice, go ahead…but 1 jalapeno without seeds was good for us. And the whole process is so easy.  You just clean and scoop seeds out of your squash and prep it for baking.

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

Mine was done in 45 minutes, but some winter squashes are dryer than others.  Give them anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes.  The squash is done when you can easily pierce a fork through the skin.

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

 

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

It smelled so good coming out of the oven I took a bite and oh, how heavenly sweet it was!  (Side note, this is the squash I use for pumpkin pie fillings…divine!) Broth, squash and water gets added to sauteing veggies and it cooks for 25 minutes after coming to a boil. My immersion blender worked its magic in creating a silky texture.

Southwestern Winter Squash Soup

The original recipe recommends a variety of toppings such as pomegranate seeds, sliced scallions, sour cream, toasted pepitas, or cooked bacon. I went with scallions, but pomegranate is my next choice. Can you believe it’s November already?

Gearing up for the holidays in my Holiday Pies class next week.

Enjoy this soup and have a great week!

Amy

2 medium kabocha or butternut squash (about 4 pounds)

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 white corn tortillas, torn into large pieces

4 carrots, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 jalepeno chile pepper, seeds removed and chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 cups Imagine Not Chicken broth (or chicken broth)

chopped scallions for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Rub all over with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season the cut sides with salt and pepper.  Arrange cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 30-40 minutes (a fork should easily pierce the skin).

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the torn tortilla pieces and cook, stirring so they don’t burn, until browned, about 4 minutes.  Add the chopped carrots, red onion, jalepeno, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Cook, stirring until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes.

Scoop the roasted squash out of its skin and add to the soup pot along with the broth and 3 cups of water.  Discard skin.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Puree soup in the pot using an immersion blender, until very smooth.  (You can also work in batches and blend in a blender if you don’t own an immersion blender). Add 1 cup of water if your soup is too thick.  Mine turned out just right, but winter squashes vary in their water content. Adjust seasonings by adding salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with chopped scallions.

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