Monday, October 1, 2012

Roasted Delicata Squash and Ginger Soup



I don't know how I managed to catch a cold last week, but I did. And it sucked. This is the first time I've come down with anything since at least 1st trimester of pregnancy. That was nothing! Now, a fat head feeling AND a fat (stretching) belly feeling don't go well together. I can handle the one without the other, but feeling like both my sinuses and my belly are going to explode from all the pressure did not left me as functional as I'd like to be. Luckily, it passed in the classic 9 days style.

In our house, if you are sick, there is a rule that you must immediately begin to ingest as much fresh ginger as possible. Tea is the easiest, made by slicing ginger and boiling it in water, but it gets boring fast. Curry and soup also work well to incorporate the ginger with other vitamin-rich foods.

Once I felt up to the task of making soup, I decided to use the delicata squash I found at Fairway last weekend. It is a pretty variety of squash that tastes as good as it looks, and it's hard to find most of the year, except in early fall. I don't think it's widely recognized, as even at the best market, it was lumped with acorn squash without any price signage. The cashier didn't know what it was either, but low and behold it was on her list of codes.

Delicata Squash

Sliced Delicata Squash
If you see these oblong, ridged, pale yellow delicata squash with green stripes, pick one up. Compared to butternut or acorn squash, the cooked flesh is sweeter, smoother, and easier to separate from the skin. Whether you are sick or not, delicata squash is worth a try

Roasted Delicata Squash and Ginger Soup 
4-6 servings


2T olive oil

1 ½ C onion, roughly chopped (1/2 large onion)

2 T ginger (with skin), roughly chopped into small 1/8” pieces

1-1/2 or 2 C baby carrots or peeled/sliced carrots

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (tart apples like Grannysmith or MacIntosh work best to balance the sweet squash and spicy ginger)

1-1/2 to 2 C flesh from roasted delicata squash

3 C water

Kosher salt (or sea salt) and pepper to taste

Roasted Delicata Squash: 

Roast the squash 1 hour or up to 1 day ahead of making the soup and reserve the flesh until ready to use.

Heat oven to 375F. Trim ends of squash and slice into 1” thick rings. Remove seeds and place rings on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil or cooking spray. Drizzle squash lightly with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, flipping them halfway through. When fork-tender, remove squash and cool to room temperature. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh away from the skin and discard the skin.

Soup: 

1. In a stock pot, heat oil and cook onions over medium heat about 5 minutes until softened. Add ginger and cook 3 more minutes.

2. Add carrots, apples and water. Cover and bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

3. Add cooked squash and simmer another 10 minutes.

4. With an immersion blender, or working with a regular blender in batches, puree the soup until smooth.

5. Season with salt and pepper. I am generous with the salt when using water instead of stock – toss in around 1-1/2 T or 2 T of kosher salt.

6. Warm the soup over low heat if needed and serve with bread or pita.

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