Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Hubbard Squash Soup

You know one of the greatest things about having small children? You can make stupid jokes and they think you are the funniest thing out there. example:

Albert: "Mommy, what's for dinner?"
Me: "Hubbard squash soup"
Albert: "What's a Hubbard?"
Me: "A squash, what's a Hubbard with you?"
Albert: laughs hysterically and walks away repeating it to himself.

Okay, so I am terrible at making jokes, but at least I entertain my kids. Eventually they will just look at me and roll their eyes, until then I am the coolest mom around. 

When my Mother was a little girl, they grew Hubbard squash in the garden. Frequently they would be harvested and the largest used for church suppers. Those were much larger than what I worked with today. Before dissection, my squash weighed in at 7.9# and the ones that my Mother recounts were closer to 20#. In order to clean out the seeds, they needed to be taken out to the chopping block and cut open with an ax or hatchet. Luckily, I was able to make do just fine with my kitchen knife. 

One thing I really like about Hubbard squash is that it is so smooth, it feels soft on the tongue and can be very mild. This is a great squash to use in pie, I think it works better than pumpkin (and if someone makes a comment about squash pie, remind them that pumpkin is squash too).

I found this recipe a few days ago when I came home from our 1st winter share pickup at our CSA. I had been sent home with a recipe, which looked great, but I knew that this squash would make multiple meals and needed to find something else to do with it as well. It is no secret that I love soup, especially pureed soups. I found this recipe "Roasted Hubbard Squash Soup with Hazelnuts & Chives", It looked amazing, I had to try it. Of course I changed a few things when I made it tonight, some because of experience knowing where I could save time, and others because, lets be realistic I have 4 kids and I don't want to spend money all the time on something they just wont eat.

The original recipe called for topping this soup with toasted hazelnuts, minced fresh chives and cayenne pepper. Sounds delicious, but I wasn't going to take the time to toast hazelnuts if the kids were not going to eat them. They are not cheap! If you are interested in the topping, it is simple. Toast 1/2c hazelnuts that have been skinned and chopped, 2 Tbs minced chives and a pinch of Espelette or cayenne pepper. Sprinkle a little of each on the top.

Ingredients

3 Tbs olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp dried sage (or 1Tbs fresh sage)
5-6 lbs Hubbard Squash (weigh it whole, then cut in half and seed it, if it is super big, you may only need half)
2 Tbs olive oil (yes, more for sautéing)
1 large or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only halved and sliced crosswise.  (remember it is easier to wash out the dirt if you cut the entire thing lengthwise first. 
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
kosher salt
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Adjust oven so that rack is in the lower middle, and preheat to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the oil, garlic, coriander, fennel seeds and sage in either a mortar and pestle or small food processor. Mash till a thick paste is formed or puree in pulses until the same. Smear the paste all over the orange flesh of your squash and place it cut side down on the parchment paper. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork. 45-60 minutes. Let cook slightly, then scrape the flesh out of the skin, making sure to scoop up any of the paste that might have fallen to the parchment.

 
While the squash is cooling, melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek and carrots, cook until the leek is softened. Add the squash, broth, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let meld for about 30 minutes to develop the flavor. Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaf, then puree with either an emersion blender or in batches in a traditional blender. 

We, as usual, had ours with some crunchy bread, and it was delicious. The spice rub...OH MY GOSH!!

4 comments:

  1. This sounds fantastic! Also, where are you doing your winter share? Thinking I need to do that for next year so I don't hit the November food slump where all the fresh stuff disappears.

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  2. Lagoner Farms made a last minute decision to offer a short 6 week winter share. It will only run November 8th - December 13th. Because the first pick up was last week, you might be able to jump on board if you wanted to. Give them a call to find out. I know they have a Wednesday pick up in Webster.

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    Replies
    1. Sweet! They have a pickup in Webster?!? That was the only thing holding me back...

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    2. Yes they do, in fact they have multiple pick up locations around the area. This includes the traditional summer pick up as well, so you could join and not have to drive far. I believe that the Webster pickup is at Restoration Wellness Chiropractic, but I am not sure where that is in Webster.

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