Flavor // Squash season

Recipe by Danielle Shelton

Fall is the season for gourds. While there are many varieties, when it comes to cooking one we usually default to two types — squash and pumpkins. Fall is also the start of the soup season. The air is getting crisper and cooler. A hot comforting dish now seems in order. Who doesn’t love a cream-based soup? True, cream creates a nice texture, and rich taste to anything it supports. But it’s murder on the waist line. Here’s a more healthful version of a fall favorite.

Hearty Squash Soup with Red Pepper

serves 6-8; inspired by the Fannie Farmer Cookbook

2 cups butternut squash, mashed (about 1 medium sized squash)
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups soy milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp wheat flour
1-2 tbsp sesame oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Skin and dice the squash into medium size pieces. Coat the pieces with the sesame oil. Place the squash in the oven and let roast for 25–30 minutes until tender. Cooking times will vary based on ovens.

3. In the meantime, slice the red pepper and onion lengthwise, peel the garlic, and add the ingredients to a food processor and chop until fine.

4. When the squash done roasting, add the roasted pieces to a bowl and mash with a masher.

5. In a medium size stock pot on medium heat, add the mashed squash, red pepper, garlic, and onion combination, along with the soy milk. Stir. Allow the soup to cook initially for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally (in preparation for the next step below). Make sure that the contents of stock pot never come to a boil while keeping it on medium heat (if necessary lower the temperature of your stove if the contents start to come to boil).

6. In a heavy based pot, melt the butter on medium low heat. Once the butter is melted combine the flour, and stir continuously and quickly for about 30 to 60 seconds. It will make a thick like dough substance. Quickly add about two ladles full of the soup from the stock pot to the butter and flour mixture. Stir together continuously for about one minute.

7. Add the contents of the heavy based pot to the squash soup in the stock pot. Stir continuously, making sure that the butter, flour, soup mixture dissolves into the contents of the soup in the stock pot.

8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Southwest blogger and local foodie Danielle Shelton showcases recipes featuring ingredients from local farmers markets at favorablefood.blogspot.com.