Winter soup diary

 

There are few things more inviting or comforting on a cold winters day than the thought of a steaming bowl of squash soup. But it needn’t be just for winter. Whenever or wherever you can lay your hands on squash of any types it’s worth taking the time and trouble to make a soup which will provide several days of warming satisfying lunches when paired with a simple piece of buttered bread.
I tend to coincide my soup making activity with the days following a roast chicken dinner, so instead of just water I can use the freshly made chicken stock that I always endeavour to prepare with the leftover carcass.

 

I find that roasting the squash is always preferential when making the soup. You don’t have to do this, but as well as making them much easier to peel and chop, roasting helps to caramelize some of the sugar which I find adds a delicious nutty sweetness to the final soup. The picture above shows a butternut (on the right) and a crown prince squash halved, seeded and ready for the oven. I drizzle the squash with olive oil, then roast in a medium oven for 45 mins.

 

While the squash are roasting, it’s a good idea to prepare the base for the soup. Here I used Onion, leek, garlic, celery, carrots and parsnip. Sweat the vegetables down gently in a little butter and olive oil until soft.

 

When the squash comes out of the oven, peal and chop roughly ready for the soup.

 

Above is the fresh homemade chicken stock I used in the soup. To make the stock place the carcass, bones and bits of a leftover roast chicken in a pot with a large onion, carrot and stick of celery.
Add 15-20 peppercorns and 2-3 bay leaves.
Cover with water and simmer very gently for 3-4 hours, scraping off any scum that rises to the top.
Cool in the fridge overnight and then remove and fat which solidifies and settles on top.

 

After sweating the soup base down, add a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper, and add the squash and chicken stock (warming up the chicken stock first, either in a separate pot or microwave will help).
Add salt to taste and leave to simmer for about 1 hour.

 

After simmering blend the soup down with a hand blender unless of course you want a chunky soup which is also nice (in which case it’s probably a good idea to chop the squash into smaller pieces than shown above).
One really important tip when using a hand blender (which most of us have to learn the hard way) is to fully submerge it in the soup before switching it on. Otherwise you and your kitchen will end up covered in soup!
Grind in some black pepper at this point too.

 

Serve with some bread an butter, and maybe a drizzle of cream on top….

Advertisements

About Gourmet Gorman
I'm a musician who enjoys cooking

5 Responses to Winter soup diary

  1. Pingback: Farmers Market haul « Gourmet Gorman

  2. Kait Nolan says:

    I’ve never heard of a crown prince squash but the soup sounds lovely!

  3. Mmmmmmmmmmm looks so comforting and tasty!

  4. Lou says:

    Looks yummy! Squash soup is one of my absolute favourites x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: