10.29.2013

Warm Soup >> For Cold Days

Top three reasons why soup is awesome:

> It is a vehicle for the wonder of all wonders - a loaf of good, crusty bread.
> You can hide endless amounts of vegetables in it and be none the wiser.
> LEFTOVERS!

I love soup all-the-year-round, but when it gets colder and drearier, I definitely ramp up both production and consumption. This Fall and Winter, I'm going to try and make a big pot of soup once a week-ish. It's just such an easy way to warm up and enjoy a big bowl of comfort during the darker days we have coming. I'll share the good ones here with you all. :) First up: this delicata squash and pear version. 
I made this a few times last winter, and when a couple of delicata squash came in our last CSA box, I remembered this recipe from last year. I think I had gotten some delicata squash last year about this time, and I just googled recipes and came across this one. I am not a huge lover of squash in its plain form, but I LOVE it in soups. The best part about this recipe is that it's super simple - two cups of each of the main ingredients.
Here's how you do it >

Delicata Squash and Pear Soup (from Saveur)

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups delicata squash (about 1lb, or 1 medium sized squash. Peeled, seeded, and diced)
2 cups shallots (about 4 medium, peeled and sliced)
2 cups pears (about 1lb; I used 3. Cored and diced. Pick firm ones.)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
crème fraîche (I subbed sour cream)
maple syrup (you know, the real kind)
s+p to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, cook 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the squash and pears and cook until they start to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the thyme and let cook another minute or so for the thyme to get fragrant. Then, add the stock and vinegar. Let simmer until everything is nice and soft, 15-20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking. DONE!

To serve: drizzle a spoonful of crème fraîche and a bit of maple syrup on each. It will look fancy and will impress people for no good reason, but also tastes good, so win-win.

TIPS >
// This does not make a huge pot of soup, probably about 4 good sized bowls.
// Have everything chopped and ready to go before you even start heating the oil. I am terrible at taking this advice, and think I am a faster chopper than I am and always inevitably almost burn things. Don't be like me.
// If like me you cannot find crème fraîche at your grocery store (really Safeway? This is 'MERICA!), do not fret, you can sub in sour cream. It will not swirl as prettily (compare my photo to Saveur's), but it will still taste pretty good. A bit of heavy cream or greek yogurt would work, too.

In related news, does this photo gross you out? You're not alone.
Happy eating!

shanti >> sondra

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2 comments:

  1. I have some sort of large squash left from my box a couple weeks ago. It is sitting in my kitchen looking all sad cause I don't know what to do with it. Hello Soup!

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  2. abhaya_sondra10/30/13, 12:29 PM

    The "boxes" are so funny because on one hand they get us to try all sorts of new things and be more creative in the kitchen, but on the other hand they make me feel guilty when I let things languish (hello, bok choy currently wilting in the crisper drawer). Lucky thing squash is resilient! Soup, ho!

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