Everywhere I turn these days, I amseeing soup. I am not sure what it is about this time of year that evokes the 5year old in all of us. Sitting down on a high kitchen stool, a bowl ofCampbell’s Bean with Bacon soup in front of us. And at the risk of grossing youout, I will admit I always added red wine vinegar to mine. Two nice bigteaspoons full. A trick I learned from my Dad. Then I would sit there, bigspoon in hand, and shovel it into my mouth. It was physically impossible for meto eat it fast enough. I devoured it. And the warmth and comfort I felt afterthat delicious bowl was triumphant.
I have been craving squash and all the lovelyroot vegetables I can find. Potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, sweetpotatoes, beets. The list is quite extensive. Actually, I think what I amcraving is roasted vegetables. When I begin to make a meal, I sit for a momentand consider which vegetable I want to roast tonight. I love that I can turnthe oven on and not die a hot sweaty death. You can say it with me, ahhhh fall.
This soup was my squash masterpiece.Creamy without being too heavy. Roasty-toasty caramelized bits that where sweetbut not cloying. Lovely little herbs floating around the pot all happy andsavory. And that head of roasted garlic, which I smashed and mashed into apaste before adding it to the pot. That, my friend, was the icing on my soupycake. Roasted garlic is like a little paste from the gods. Alternately sweetwith a hint of its original flavor.
After I made my batch up. I satthere cross legged, soup bowl resting in my lap, big spoon in hand. And I ateit. I spooned giant bites into my mouth and then I tore off a mouthful ofbuttered baguette. I ate without reservations. Like I was a 5 year old kidagain. The picture may not have been a pretty one. In fact maybe I resembled acrazy looking deranged dog, obsessed with soup. But, it does not matter.Because every bite made me happy that fall was finally here.
Creamy Roasted Squash and Garlic Soup
1 acorn squash; peeled, seeded and chopped into bite size pieces
2 delicata squash; (or one butternut squash) peeled, seeded and chopped into bite size pieces
1 large red onion; chopped
1 bulb of garlic
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)
1/4 cup fennel fronds (you can also use any of the above herbs if you do not have fennel fronds-just use a bit less, perhaps by half. Especially if you are using sage.)
4 cups good quality chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place all the squash on a large pan in single layer and toss with salt, pepper, 2 tablspoons of the fresh herbs and enough olive oil to liberally coat. Place in oven and cook until the squash is tender and golden. Make sure to check the squash often, flipping as necissary. About 25-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the very top off the garlic bulb, not the end with the root, to expose some of the garlic cloves. Making sure to not cut too much. Place in small ovenproof dish and sprikle with salt and enough olive oil to lightly coat. Place in oven with squash. Roast for about 30 minutes. Until very top is lightly golden. You should be able to gently squeeze the sides of the garlic when it is done. Remove from oven and place garlic bulb on its side. Using the back of a spoon, press on the garlic until all the roasted garlic paste squishes out. Mash it into a paste. Reserve.
While the squash and garlic are roasting, place butter in heavy bottomed pot over meduim heat and cook onion until it is soft and golden brown. The longer you cook it the more carmalized it will become. I stopped after about 25 minutes. If the pan becomes too dry while you are cooking the onion, add some more butter. Add the fennel fronds (or other herb) and cook for another minute. Add the roasted squash and the chicken broth. Finally add the garlic paste and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, giving the flavors a chance to mix. If soup seems to thick, add more chicken broth. Then add the heavy cream, cook for a minute and remove from heat. Place soup in a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree. Serve with some warm bread and Enjoy!
For more photos and recipe ideas, check out Corey’s blog, Intheorganickitchen.com. Visit often to see her latest organic obsession.