Saturday, December 10, 2011

When in doubt, make soup.

I have been receiving winter squash in my CSA baskets lately. They look like alien acorn squash with their cream, orange and green splotches. They're actually called Carnival (Delicata) Winter Squash and apparently they're so delicious you can roast them and eat them peel & all! My Nana used to slice the squash and bake it in the oven with brown sugar. I still cringe when I walk by the acorn squash section of the grocery store, but I smile inside cause I remember her.

There is no way that my boys will eat slivers of roasted squash, even if they were covered in a full bag of brown sugar. They will however slurp up pretty much any soup I put in front of them, provided I call it a colour. In our house we have white soup (cauliflower/cheddar or potato leek), brown soup (mushroom), green soup (spinach) and orange soup (carrot). Their favourite is the green soup. The oldest won't bring it to school for lunch anymore though cause the kids teased him about eating grass. Lovely. Oh well... At least he still asks for it at home :)

Carnival Winter Soup aka Yellow Soup

2 carnival or acorn squash
1 large potato
1 medium onion
2 small parsnips
Olive oil
Chicken stock (confession: I am using a 284 ml can. But it's organic, so that's ok, right?)
2 cups apple cider (no sugar added) *if you'd like your soup less sweet, maybe try 1 1/2 cups.

Halve the squash, remove seeds. My boys call them guts. Slice into slivers, and microwave for 8-10 minutes. If the microwave creeps you out you could probably roast them in the oven until them start to soften. Let them cool enough to handle then peel.

Peel potato, cut into chunks. Do the same with the onion. Peel parsnips, slice.

In a large pot on medium, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add onion and sautée until they become soft and start to caramelize. I salt the onions but I suppose if salt is not your thing you don't have to. Add the vegetables and stir them up until they're coated. I add a bit of salt here too. Let them sautée a bit and when you start to smell them all stir once more and add the can of chicken stock. I filled the can with apple cider twice and added it in. That's actually a bit more than 2 cups. Then I added about half a can of water, just enough so that the vegetables were all covered. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down, cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Adjust the seasonings to taste.


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