I’m not gonna lie. Squash tends to be “chick food” in our house along with her sisters risotto, quiche, and salads containing nuts, avocados and crumbled Gorgonzola.
The green stuff…broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts…I can get the male members of this family to eat but, unless it’s in a pumpkin pie, they turn their noses up to the orange winter staple.
And believe me, I have tried.
I have stopped short of topping it with loads of butter, brown sugar and marshmallows because at that point, I think, let’s just make s’mores.
Recently I came across a recipe for Roasted Squash Soup that Kari Anderton, who runs Kari’s Kitchen here in Portland, made during one of her lively cooking classes. She served it in mini-pumpkins and I remember loving it…as well as the hot spiked drink she handed us as we entered her warm house for the class. Each spoonful of soup was like lowering myself into a comfy chair and curling up with a book and a cup of tea.
Because of the fond memories, I decided to give it whirl with my family…the soup, not the spiked drink, people.
My daughter grabbed a bowl, filled it up, and promptly devoured it like it was ice cream. The Rooster filled up a bowl, covered the top with pancetta bits, and like a good boy, dutifully ate his dinner. The boys stabbed at it with their spoons like it was porridge and had apple slices and bread for dinner that night. I went back for seconds and ate it every day for lunch that week relishing each delicious bite.
One of my favorite people to cook for is my father. He loves food. Not in an unhealthy, must consume bag after bag of potato chips, kind of way but in a way that shows appreciation for how delicious something is and how much it means to him that someone made it for him. If he loves your meal, he will let you know and you will be filled with warm feelings from head to toe. He’ll also let you know if he doesn’t like it or if it needs more salt…so there’s that.
My parents came over for soup and pumpkin carving a couple Sundays ago. I decided to do a secret little test on them. Who would eat the squash soup? I made another pot of the Roasted Squash Soup, set it next to a pot of my Ham and White Bean soup and let the experiment play out.
All three of my males ate the Ham and Bean soup.
My Mom and my daughter had a bowl of each kind.
I ate the squash soup.
I had a tough time figuring out just what my Dad ate.
I mentioned to my Mom that squash soup tends to be “chick food” around here and since we had a bit leftover, she was welcome to take some home with her.
At that point, my Dad piped up proudly, “I mixed the squash soup together with the ham and bean soup. It was wonderful!”
“Huh,” I replied. “Interesting.”
So, there you have it folks. The tale of the squash soup as it unfolded in the Minns’ household one stormy Sunday afternoon.
I highly recommend this comforting Roasted Squash Soup. It would be perfect for a book club dinner, wine night with the gals, or a girls’ weekend away served with the aforementioned salad containing nuts, avocados, and crumbled Gorgonzola.
Curious if any of you have any squash recipes that are received with open arms by the male members of your world. Do tell.
|Roasted Squash Soup||
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 med yellow onion, peeled and diced, approx 1 cup
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stock of celery, diced
- 2 quarts chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- ½ c white wine (optional)
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp dried sage or 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ⅓ lb of diced pancetta + 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Carefully slice your squash into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and gooey strings.
- Brush meaty parts with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes or until squash is easily pricked with a fork.
- Set aside to cool a bit. Remove flesh from skin, once cool enough to handle.
- While squash is roasting, prepare your other vegetables.
- In a large soup pot, saute your onion, carrot and celery in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until the veggies begin to soften about 8-10 minutes.
- Add in your squash, broth, wine, allspice, sage, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and then, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, brown your pancetta in a teaspoon of olive oil for about 5-6 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- When simmering is finished, remove soup from heat.
- Using an immersion blender (my preferred method) or a blender, puree soup until smooth.
- Whisk in your half-and-half.
- Scoop the velvety concoction into shallow soup bowls. Top with sprinkles of pancetta and a sage leaf for added loveliness. Enjoy.
And finally, the winner of the Harry and David Applegate Gift Basket is…
….Lisa Galeski. Congratulations, Lisa! I’ll shoot you an email to chat further.