Squashes have been showing up at the farmer's markets and I've started buying a variety of them. They're pretty cheap right now, and they can keep for a few weeks or a few months depending on whether you store them in the kitchen, a larder, or root cellar. There are just so many recipe options for squash, but I was in a soup mood, so I made this creamy squash soup with some of my home-canned roasted tomatoes.
Cream of Winter Squash & Tomato Soup
1 small winter squash of your choice - pumpkin, butternut, hubbard, banana, etc. You should end up with about 6 cups of diced squash.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups canned diced tomatoes
3 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub the cavities with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender enough to scoop out. Remove from oven and let cool to a point where you can handle them.
Meanwhile in a large pot saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaf in the olive oil. Scoop the squash from its shell, discarding the skin. Add the roasted squash flesh to the soup pot and saute for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the paprika. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Add the chicken broth. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the bay leaves. Puree the contents of the pot and strain through a mesh sieve. Return to the pot and over low heat, stir in the cream. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with toasted bread.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)