We’ve made it to the homestretch. Laura and I now have only one very large pumpkin left from this autumn’s collection. If you’ve been following along, you already know that we have made a variety of soups from the previous pumpkin and squash. In all honesty, many of these soups are very similar in their structure. It’s a few ingredients here and a few ingredients there that change things up. Personally, I enjoy experimenting with what others have assembled. If you’d like to see some of the previous soup recipes I’ve shared, you can visit them here.
Today’s recipe comes from the one and only Alton Brown of the Food Network. I’ve prepared some of Alton’s recipes in the past and I’ve been thrilled with the results. He’s got a true sense of what good food should taste like, so when I saw a recipe he created that had to do with squash, I jumped at the chance to put it together.
In Alton’s dish, he used butternut squash. I love butternut squash, but since we had a very large ornamental squash sitting on the windowsill waiting to be eaten, I decided to go with that. Ours definitely wasn’t as sweet at the traditional butternut, but the addition of pure maple syrup handled that issue well. Also, instead of heavy cream, I used coconut milk. Instead of ground nutmeg, I used cinnamon. Instead of butter, I used olive oil. So, if you think about it, I changed up most of the ingredients he called for. The reason I did this was to keep in line with a very special diet Laura and I are attempting to adhere to. The healthiest of the healthy. It’s fun to substitute out some ingredients for others. It really opens one’s eyes to what they put in their mouth.
This is a good soup. We’ve got lots of it leftover in the refrigerator and I think that’s just great. The soup is light and tasty and well worth the effort. If you have a large squash or two smaller ones, I encourage you to go ahead and double up on the ingredients below. The more soup, the better. That’s what I say.
1 Large 5 Pound Ornamental Squash
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
Regular Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 15-Ounce Can Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Just as an FYI, you can really get creative with the ingredients you use for soups like these. As long as you stick with similarly themed tastes, you should be fine. Think about nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger as in the same family. Pretty much all of these recipes call for salt, pepper and some sort of cream to add taste and add to the texture. A sweetener may be necessary and a broth is usually essential. Just alter the quantities to your liking.
Pre-Heat Your Oven
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Space the racks so they are of an equal distance from themselves and the bottom and top of the oven.
Prep the Squash
To prep the squash, you’ll need to cut it in half and remove all the seeds. Then, cut the remainder up into 2 inch pieces and cut off the skin. Place the flesh into a large bowl.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl, along with the salt and the ground black pepper. Mix all the ingredients together until every piece of squash is coated with the oil.
Cook the Squash
Spread the pieces of squash out on one or two large baking sheets. When the oven is to temperature, add the baking sheets to it and let roast for 45 minutes. Half way through, switch shelves for the baking sheets.
Warm a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When it’s to temperature, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it along with the chopped onion. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the onion softens and begins to brown.
Once the onions have softened, go ahead and add in the ground ginger and cinnamon. Mix that well.
Mix in Remaining Ingredients (Almost)
Next, add the syrup or honey, broth and cooked squash to the Dutch oven. Mix everything together.
Blend Everything Together
In batches, use a blender to blend the ingredients from the pot together. When each batch is finished, pour it into a large bowl. Then, add the coconut milk to the soup and mix it in until it melts.
The Final Soup
That’s it! Wasn’t that easy? Let me tell you, this soup was really inexpensive too. The amount of food you get from this effort is truly remarkable. And what’s even better is that if you choose to double up, you can store the excess in the freezer. I’ve done this in the past and there’s nothing better than having a delicious soup sitting there waiting for you when you’re ready. Enjoy!