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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Winter Squash Soup topped with Caramelized Onions and Home-garden Herbs



As thick wholesome winter soups go this is one of the simplest, the hardest part being peeling and cubing the winter squashes. If it is available peeled and chopped, all the better. I used the last of the home-garden butternut squash and an acorn squash.

The flavors are flexible for this soup; I just go with simple herbs usually as butternut and acorn squash have a rich flavor of their own, tending to be on the sweet side. The weed-like rosemary and oregano from the home-garden was handy and turned out good.

Ingredients
6 to 8 cups chunks of acorn and butternut squash
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 to 3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp chopped oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Madras curry powder (optional)
2 Tbsp sambal oelek (less if preferred)
 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
a few drops of Liquid Smoke Hickory seasoning (optional)
salt to taste
water or vegetable stock as needed

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a cast iron skillet, add the onions, a pinch of salt and sauté till golden brown; add a splash of balsamic vinegar if preferred and keep sautéing till caramelized; add a bit more oil if needed
  2. Heat a Tbsp of oil in a pan and pan-roast the chunk of winter squash till browned on the outside; add some stock, enough to immerse the chunks, cover and cook till squash is done
  3. Puree the cooked squash, return to simmer adding more stock or water as needed;  add the spices and half of the chopped fresh herbs; add a drop or so of hickory seasoning if preferred; stir well
  4. Ladle the warm soup into a bowl, garnish with more fresh herbs, top with a heaped spoon of caramelized onion and serve warm

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