It’s 10am and I’m prepping a big pot of soup.
My pot is a heavy bottom 12 quart and I searched many years for a sturdy, non-burning, big but not too big amazing soup pot…yes, that kind of stuff is exciting to me.
I haven’t made a mulligatawny soup in ages and it’s one of my favourites.
With the harvest I gathered from the PIB community garden a couple weeks ago, a butternut squash was an item I haven’t used up yet. It’s been sitting on the counter ripening and looked ready to go.
Making soup through the year is a labour of love and time. Although often touted as a simple way to use up perishing food, soup can be tedious and take a long time to make. Flavour- layering and making homemade stocks are key to a great-tasting soup and using the food in various ways is something that can become an afterthought.
Chicken noodle, turkey-vegetable-quinoa, hamburger and borscht are seasonal favourite around here. I’ve been putting off this curried yumminess for a while and it’s time to get on it.
I don’t follow recipes and usually add extra stuff so the soups aren’t too brothy. They are a good balance between not quite being a stew and not a few pieces of veg in a large vat of water.
Back to the topic of layering flavours…currently, I have half the squash roasting in the oven with seasoning and some butter and
I am pureeing the other half by cooking and mashing it on the stovetop.
On another element the chicken stock is at a low boil so not to make the peppercorns become too bitter in flavour and I’m prepping celery and carrots to start sauteing (again…note the layering).
Higher on the starchy levels, squashes such as butternut or acorn provide more nutrition than items such as plain white potatoes. Spaghetti squash is lower carb and for those wanting to mitigate their glucose levels, it’s a great substitute option for many dishes.
Here are five simple and great ways to prep squash:
- Roasted: Cut in half, clean out seeds, season and oil, place skin-up on foil and bake at 400 for about 30–40 mins. Scrape out and eat. Cinnamon, salt, pepper are fall favs.
- As A Creamy Soup Base: Peel and cube, place in pot with a bit of water, boil until soft and mash. Done…now you have a dairy-free creamy base for whatever you want to use it for.
- Chilled In Salad: My favourite is roasted variety for a salad. Add some roasted beets or other root veg, walnuts, goat cheese and a high-quality balsamic to finish it off.
- Spiralizing It Into Noodles: Spaghetti squash do their own thing with this one but others can be spiral-cut, blanched and eaten in place of common noodles for any dish.
- Use It In Baking: Using the puree or grating the squash, it can be incorporated into a multitude of loaves, scones and breads.