Nice weekend, with some time away from felting. I did spend yesterday rendering some of that carload of squash and pumpkins I hauled back from North Carolina into edible ingredients. I had picked out quite an assortment, gave a bunch away to friends here and used the rest for Halloween decor, minus carving. I decided if I roast 4 or 5 a weekend we’ll go through all of them, although heaven only knows what I’ll do with 50# of assorted squash/pumpkin puree in freezer bags…Send in your favorite recipes now, please. Because I had picked up some unusually attractive heirloom varieties I’m also seed saving so there are little paper towels covered with various seeds drying out around the house.
Here are two of my favorite recipes for squash soup- one with a bite and one without. And you can also use pumpkin or a mix thereof.
Roasted Hazelnut and squash soup
1 med. butternut squash (acorn squash or fresh pumpkin)
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. whole roasted hazelnuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans. I used Georgia pecans we bought on our trip home.)
1 qt. chicken broth
1 c. whipping cream
Fresh grated nutmeg
1 c. dairy sour cream
1/4 c. coarsely chopped roasted nuts
Halve squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side up in shallow baking dish. Bake in 400 degree oven about 1 hour or until soft. Don’t add water. Scoop out pulp; set aside. In a large saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in squash and 1/2 cup nuts. Stir in broth. Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes. Transfer about 1/4 of soup to blender container. Cover; blend smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return to saucepan. Stir in cream and season with some white pepper, nutmeg and salt. Bring just to boiling. Remove from heat. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls, topping with a dollop of sour cream and some of remaining nuts. 8 to 10 servings.
And here’s one with some kick to it- yum!
Curried squash soup
2 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste*
2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons sour cream, stirred to loosen
Chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush cut side of squash with oil; place squash, cut side down, on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Scoop squash out into large bowl. Measure 3 cups squash (reserve any remaining squash for another use).
Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and apple; sauté 5 minutes. Add curry paste; stir 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and 3 cups squash. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to same pot. Stir in cream and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over medium-high heat.
Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.
Rich played golf and one of his buddies got this phone picture of Rich discussing his next shot with this golfer gopher tortoise. I love these guys so I was a little jealous not to see him but it puts me in a mind to take out the tram next time I’m down at Boyd Hill and toodle around to the place where all the gophers nest. Maybe I’ll get some good photos.
We ended the weekend with another seasonal meal at our neighbor friends, Rich and Marion. They are also transplants from the north; here in Florida you’re either a native Cracker, a Snowbird or one of a large crowd that just seems to have slid downhill to the bottom of the country. (To wit, this digression: Abby overhead this conversation at the zoo here recently: “Is that a min-key?” “Nah, looks like a ‘coon.” “Lemme try and read this sign. It says it’s a Rang Tail LaMar!”) Marion is first generation so she made Polish Kapusta (sauerkraut) with shredded pork and polish sausage. It had simmered away for a whole day and then been held over for one more for the flavor to fully develop. My Rich thought he was on his way to heaven, as this dish was a childhood memory of his favorite foods. We got into a discussion about classic family dishes that were served when autumn rolled around.(We’re pretending it’s autumn here in St. Petersburg.) I remembered New England Boiled Dinner and Marion’s Rich remembered Toucan Supper, which consisted of these two items: