I had something else to do when I got the soup mandate. My husband said he was willing to shovel snow from the driveway so that I could go on a mission in my car. The bargain was that a big pot of steaming soup would be ready for him when he came inside, stomping snow all over the kitchen. With roasted winter squash in great supply along with abundant carrots from the fall harvest and oranges from a Christmas bushel, I was all set to make soup in the 30-40 minutes it would take him to clear the way. Game on.
Whenever I have unsprayed citrus fruit, or organic fruit from a reliable source, and have plans only for the juice, I wash it well in hot water (to release any wax), strip the peel in one long ribbon (like peeling an apple), and hang it on my pot rack to dry. The peels dry in picturesque curls that I store in airtight containers. I threw one of the peels into the soup pot along with the grated orange zest. The juice was added at the end to give a fresh taste.
And then, to make the citrus theme complete, I stirred a teaspoon of orange marmalade into each bowl of soup. My husband was impressed at a quick soup that was both filling and refreshing. And I drove out.
Winter Squash and Carrot Soup with Oranges
3 c roasted squash puree (see below for roasting instructions)
1 small onion, chopped
Vegetable oil or ghee
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
Optional: long strip of fresh or dried orange peel (from 1 orange)
Zest of ½ orange (or a whole orange if you are not using the strip of peel)
Juice of 1 orange
Salt and Korean red pepper flakes to taste
If you don’t have squash puree on hand, roast a winter squash in advance. Cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and roast it cut side down on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly and scoop the squash flesh into a bowl.
In a large pot over medium heat, slowly sauté chopped onion in oil or ghee until translucent. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes to soften slightly.
Add the squash, strip of orange peel if using, and the zest. Add water to cover and simmer over medium or medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the orange peel.
Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the orange juice. Season to taste.
Garnish with Korean red pepper flakes and a spoonful of orange or mixed citrus marmalade for each bowl.