Triple Squash Soup



The back story on this post, which pulls out a recipe from the archives (Danielle demoed this at Brookside and USBG this year ago) is that Adrienne discovered a (new) squash: Butterkin. Daughter Evangeline, coming in from Boston, wanted to try a pumpkin galette as a hardy vegetarian main course for our family gathering yesterday around Danielle’s table in her Washington DC home. The recipe (stay tuned) called for pumpkins but Evangeline wanted to make it with butternut. The shape wasn’t working however, so off we went to find small pumpkins that would work better. And there, in the hard-squash bins, was a Butterkin — butterkina cross between pumpkin and butternut! So lovely to look at — the skin the nut-color of butternut, the inside flesh like a persimmon — and the perfect size.

So how do we get to the soup? Well, there was quite a bit left over after the galette was executed.  But that wasn’t all. At the farmer’s market earlier in the week, Adrienne fell under the spell of some gorgeous striped squash, which she mistook for Delicata — the vendor concurred as to its pedigree, so her mistake was not entirely without reason. After battling mightily with the squash in an unsuccessful attempt to slice it, she realized the squash was actually an acorn, albeit pale gold with lovely multi-hued stripes, not unlike the skin of Delicata. Well, the two are not interchangeable, especially in the Sweet and Sour Delicata recipe Adrienne was making for the T’G table, so the hard-shelled acorn squash ended up in the crisper, along with the leftover Butterkin. Lo, we have the ingredients for Triple Squash Soup (counting Butterkin as two squashes in one).  This soup is a nice extension of the glories of the Thursday feast, but light enough to merit space on the Friday or Saturday table — or any time during the winter, for that matter.

1 (about 3 lbs.) small pie pumpkin
1 (about 1½ – 1¾ lbs.) acorn squash
1 (about 1½ – 2 lbs.) butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ t cayenne
1 can lite coconut milk
4-6 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Roast the squash: cut each squash in half, put face down on a cookie sheet, add about 1 cup of water to the pan. Roast in 375̊ oven for 40-50 minutes, until soft. Cool, remove seeds, scrape flesh from half of each squash into a bowl and set aside. You want to yield about 2½- 3 lbs. of flesh. (This step can be done up to three days in advance)

Make the soup: heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large stock pot, sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne and apple, stir well and let cook two or three minutes. Add the squash and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, honey and continue simmering for another 30-45 minutes, until all ingredients are very soft. Puree the soup, with a hand-help machine, a blender, or pureeing in batches with a food processor. Adjust taste for salt. Garnish with paprika.  Serves 6-8.

Tomato Essence

tomato essenceTomato Essence is actually the clear or nearly clear liquid that is the real juice of the tomato.  What we typically know as tomato juice is actually pureed tomatoes, often thinned with water.  But if you strain tomato chunks through cheesecloth for several hours, what comes out is Tomato Essence, a liquid that has such deliciously pure tomato flavor you’ll want to spoon up every drop.  This liquid can be used on its own, as a soup, spiced with salt and pepper, drizzled with fruity olive oil and garnished with finely diced tomatoes and cucumbers and basil chiffonnade, all thoroughly chilled, for an elegant first course.  Or you can use Tomato Essence to dress a salad, per the recipe below.  Adrienne demoed this for a class at Brookside July 16 2014. Read More

Creamy Tomato Soup with Zucchini “Croutons”

tomato soup

courtesy Fine Cooking



Quite a few variations are permissible – even encouraged – on this delicious tomato soup, which happens to be one of many wonderful recipes from Danielle’s cookbook Happily Hungry. Using butter to saute the veggies provides creaminess, but olive oil would work fine for a vegan version. Same with the heavy cream, vs coconut beverage – you could also try it with regular coconut milk (lite for less fat), but you’ll get a stronger coconut flavor.  We like this version because the tomato shines through – even in the middle of winter! When good garden-fresh tomatoes aren’t available, we love the San Marzano canned tomatoes, but if you have a favorite of your own, go for that.  And if you don’t happen to have canned whole tomatoes on hand, try using plain old diced tomatoes – or stewed with basil. The zucchini twist is fun and provides something to chew on as you sip this rich, satisfying soup, originally adapted from Fine Cooking.

6 T unsalted butter
3 medium zucchini (about 1½  lb.), cut into medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C chopped yellow onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced
Three 15-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 t agave nectar
1½ C homemade or low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth, more as needed
½ C dry white wine (may substitute water or broth)
1 C heavy cream or coconut beverage
½ C fresh basil or parsley leaves, chopped, for garnish

Melt 4 T of the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and ½  t salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is crisp-tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini mixture to a medium bowl.

Melt the remaining 2 T butter in the stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it becomes translucent, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add carrots and tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add 2 C  broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the tomato mixture cool slightly. Purée the soup in the pot with a hand blender or in batches (with the top vented) in a regular blender. If you use a regular blender, return the soup to the pot. Add the cream. Bring to a boil and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir the zucchini into the soup. Garnish each serving with some of the chopped fresh basil.

Easy Leftover Turkey Soup

It’s nearly a week since T’G, but the coughing and sneezing are  getting worse, so that oversized pot of turkey broth, which has been smelling so fabulous every day that it gets put back on the back burner and brought to a boil, is strained and defatted.  Now it’s going to good use.

Of course, just sipping hot broth does the body a world of comfort – it clears the head and soothes the stomach and makes you want to lie down on the couch in front of the woodstove and go to sleep even when “Good Wife” reruns are on.  But what if you added some of that leftover turkey?  It’s going fast – the healthy are still into making sandwiches and enchiladas.  And maybe a bit of rice?  That’s left over from the rice and beans we had on Saturday night.  Of course no self-respecting turkey soup is complete without the trinity – carrots, onions, celery.  And the finishing touch? The magic that makes it special for the flu-ridden? Lemon juice.  Aaaahhhhh.  SO good it makes me want to get sick just so I can have it all to myself. Read More