Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn Blessings

Roasted Squash Soup with White Wine

  • 1 average sized winter squash, sliced into chunks(I used 1/2 butternut and 1/2 buttercup)
  • 1-2 large carrot
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered (I leave the skin on)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (no need to remove the papery skin)
  • 1/2 onion
  • Drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 cup sweet white wine (*optional- if omitting, use a full cup of juice)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (if NOT using wine)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Line a jelly roll pan (or cake pan) with 2 layers of tin foil.Wash squash, cut and remove seeds.  Slice into manageable chunks, keeping size somewhat uniform.  Scrub carrots and slice into chunks.  Remove skin from onion and slice.  Place squash, carrot, apple, garlic and onion on prepared pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper- turn to coat- and then turn squash so that all of the skin is facing up.  Hide thyme under an apple quarter.

Ready for the oven

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  I like to keep the temperature a little lower, and roast them longer just to make sure that they caramelize- and not burn!  There is no real need to turn them while they cook, but sometimes I like to fiddle.  Makes me feel useful.  This is what they look like when they are ready:

Nicely roasted, super yummy!
Remove squash and carrot from pan, set aside to cool.  This leaves the onion, garlic, apple and thyme on the baking pan.  Turn oven up to 400 degrees.  Pour white wine and apple juice (or apple juice+ cider vinegar) onto pan- squish the garlic and apple with a wooden spoon- moving skins to the far side of the pan (no need for the skins in the soup). gently loosen any of the carmalized bits off of the bottom of the pan.  Place pan back in oven for a few minutes.

Deglazing the pan

 Meanwhile, heat chicken broth and remove skin from squash.  Slide squash and carrot into broth.  Remove pan from oven and pour the fragrant drippings into broth- careful to leave the garlic skins, apple skins and onion behind.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Remove from heat.  Puree until smooth.

Best kitchen appliance ever!

The secret to a really smooth squash soup- sieve!  I always do it twice, taking the time to gently push it through a fine mesh strainer, scraping off the bottom as often as possible.  It's like velvet!

 Serve warm or room temperature.  Add a pat of butter, or a dash of cream.  Pack some up for the freezer, or for a neighbour that is under the weather.  It won't last long!

With cream, and smoked ham, cheese and apple croissant...

With butter, apple slices and smoked cheddar scones....

Packaged to go to a neighbour...

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