The garden variety of “my blue heaven,” the saga of a 28-pound blue Hubbard squash continues… and continues…
Soup is one of our kitchen rituals. It takes care of any meal (I’m a savory breakfast type), and voluminous produce (even zucchini). It can be premeditated or spontaneous. It’s comforting and nutritious. We all like it.
At the end of the saga of a ridiculously huge squash, and at the beginning of the growing cycle when we are sowing its seeds, we made lunch for our farm buddies. The heart of the lunch was soup made from roasted blue Hubbard squash combined with local sweet potatoes and onions, two other long-lasting crops, plus the kicker, smoky chipotle chili powder. We appreciated the kick, and then the cooling effect of cilantro pesto with sour cream. Yum.
Chipotle Winter Squash Soup with Cilantro Cream
3-4 c roasted mashed winter squash (Hubbard or butternut)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp light olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3-4 c vegetable broth, light chicken stock, or water
Optional: chilis in adobo or other pepper to adjust seasoning
Optional: Milk or cream
Optional garnish: cilantro and /or cilantro cream (recipe follows)
Mash the squash well and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, saute the onion in oil until translucent. Add the chipotle chili powder and stir to combine. Add the sweet potato cubes and cook slowly for a few minutes. Add half the liquid, cover the pot, and simmer until the sweet potato starts to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the mashed squash, enough liquid to moisten the ingredients, and about a teaspoon of salt. You will adjust the liquid level later; at this point you are aiming for a loose puree. Simmer, partially covered, until the ingredients have fully come together and the sweet potato is very soft, about 40 minutes.
Puree in a food processor to a smooth consistency, or use an immersion blender. Adjust the liquid (add water if you’re out of broth or stock). At this point, adjust the seasoning. If it’s not spicy enough, add a small amount of sauce from chilis in adobo, or red pepper flakes. Add milk or cream if using.
Serve hot, garnished with cilantro and/or cilantro cream. Serves 6+.
Cilantro Cream. Finely chop ¼ c cilantro (you can use a food processor), and combine with a few drops of olive oil and a pinch of salt to make pesto. Add ¼ c sour cream and mix thoroughly. Thin it with a little milk or cream.