Three-Squash Soup

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One of my co-workers had a particularly productive spaghetti squash harvest and as a result, I’ve been gifted with a couple dozen the beautiful gourds. When you’ve got 21 spaghetti squash hanging about, there’s only so much squash and tomato sauce a person can take. So I’ve been branching out, finding other ways to use the soft, sweet and tender member of the curcubita family.

Given that it’s also pumpkin season and there’s usually oodles of that around, it was logical to throw some in the soup pot as well. And never two without three, a small left-over buttercup squash from this summer’s garden also decided to join the frenzy.

Mild and savory, this is a great choice for a light lunch or supper when paired alongside a green salad or a mix of sprouts and kraut as shown here. Be warned that the recipe makes 3L at least, so if you aren’t going to be eating that much soup, be prepared to freeze some or halve the amount you make.

What you need:

  • 6 cups of leek sliced into 1/4’’ rounds
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved (about 6 cups cooked)
  • 1 tiny buttercup or kabocha squash (about 2 cups sliced 1/2’’ thick)
  • 1/4 of a small pumpkin (about 2 cups sliced 1/2’’ thick)
  • 4 cups of unsalted vegetable or herbal broth
  • 2 cups of water (or more broth)
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + a pinch or two
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 420F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the one pan, place the spaghetti squash, cut side down. In the other, toss the sliced buttercup and pumpkin with a tablespoon of the olive oil, a pinch or two of sea salt and a liberal amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place both pans in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Take the pan of sliced squash out of the offen, toss them around some, and then back to the oven for another 20 minutes of roasting. Turn off the oven and let it all cool.
  4. While the veggies are roasting, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup-pot at medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté 12-15 minutes, until soft and starting to brown in places.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic and spices (except the salt), and sauté another 2-3 minutes until things are definitely sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Deglaze with a bit of broth and then, once all the roasty bits are back in the game, add the four cups of broth and the salt and heat it through, turning the burner down to low.
  7. Turn off the heat below the soup, take the pans of cooked squash out of the oven and scoop the flesh out of the spaghetti squash into the soup pot. Add half of the roasted squash slices as well (about 1 cup).
  8. Purée the soup using an immersion blender (or transferring it in batches to an upright blender or food processor, whizzing, and then dumping it back into the soup pot), adding enough of the two remaining cups of water to make a thick, hearty soup. (This is a thick porridge-like soup, if you want something thinner and more creamy-like, you can add the non-dairy milk of your choice or a couple of large potatoes and some extra water.)
  9. Cut into small, bite-sized pieces the remaining roasted squash and add it to the creamed soup.  You can also save a slice or two per person to garnish the serving bowls.
  10. Adjust seasoning to taste and reheat if desired, although it tastes pretty darned good at room temperature too.

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