Food fix, as promised

squashNice 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
White pepper
Salt
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.thanksgiving-decor-squash-soup

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.

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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.golfer turtle

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:51lU7iwZ-mL._SL500_AA280_PIbundle-6,TopRight,0,0_AA280_SH20_

4780033016Toucans. Get it? Then we all started to remember Spam with brown sugar and it was a downhill slide from there until Marion served homemade pumpkin pie. Guess where the pumpkin came from?

Finally Rich and I were sitting in bed winding down with some television and my fingers started to itch so I made this little guy. I miss the two back at Lincoln Park Zoo…
felt polar bear

11 responses to “Food fix, as promised

  1. OMG, you just get better and better at everything you do! I lurve me that polar bear and the soup looks divine! That photo of Rich and the tortoise on the course is the most adorable thing I have seen all day. Thank you for this post. I really needed the distraction!

  2. The soup looks delicious. I’m definitely going to try those recipes. In fact, I happen to have a butternut squash just waiting to turn into something yummy. Very nice to see Rich taking the time to have a conversation with that tortoise. Very cute polar bear. Have I ever asked you before: Where do you get all this energy?

  3. Let me know if you come up with more good squash recipes. I have probably 50+ pounds of squash that was gifted to me by a coworker, and I intend to inflict all of it on my family! 🙂 The curried squash soup looks yummy. I had no idea there was such a thing as bread in a can!

  4. The polar bear just may be the cutest thing I’ve seen you do!!

    I will try the soups; I love squash! That brown bread in a can? We used to get that all the time, but I haven’t seen it in the stores here for a while.

  5. I would go and make a polar bear right now, but my toe hurts and I am grumpy and would probably just throw him away when he didn’t come out as cute as yours. You are the felt fairy, you know. I make beautiful things when you are in the same room with me. Everything else looks like crap.

  6. Punkins r 4 pie, knot sure bout soup du punkin.

    That polar bear is really nice.

  7. The bear has stolen my heart away, and I’m in awe of how casually you announce you just decide to make a bear, as if it was the easiest thing in the world to do.

  8. OOO–your soup recipe nudges me to get back to posting Saturday soups.

    And the polar bear…I WANT ONE. My daughter loves polar bears. Do you offer these for purchase anywhere? Let me know.

  9. Ditto on the above. The polar bear is absolutely precious. I seriously need to shop for some of your work. Please let us know where us folks far away can do that. Online somewhere?

    I’m emailing you a recipe for pumpkin butter as soon as I hit submit.

  10. The golf photo is pure genius. I hope they offer to sell it to the course. I can imagine seeing this in a frame on the wall of the clubhouse. I’m sure it would put golfers in just the right mood as they head out onto the course.

  11. love the soup recipes and definitely LOVE the polar bear! Are you coming towards A2 any time?

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