Archive | Soup

Squash, Leek and Vinegar Soup

Photo by Brent Harrewyn

Photo by Brent Harrewyn

This sweet and spicy soup will accelerate the metabolism with apple cider vinegar, enhance circulation with chile flakes, boost immunity with leeks and soothe the nerves with winter squash.

2 tablespoons local sunflower oil (I like Rainville Farms.)
2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
3 ribs celery, rinsed and chopped
1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each: coriander and chile flakes
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg and salt
4 cups water

Preheat oven to 375°.Place the whole acorn squash in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, cut open and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Scoop out seeds, remove skin and set aside.

Heat oil in a soup pot. Add rinsed and chopped leeks and celery and cook on medium heat until translucent—about 5 minutes.

Add baked squash, vinegar and spices. Stir well. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or more. Leave the lid slightly askew so that some of the steam escapes and the soup reduces to a thicker stew.

Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and unsweetened yogurt if you like.

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Use any squash you like to make this soup. Matt used a Butternut squash for the Latin Phantom Dinner.
Blue Hubbard and Kabocha will also work. You can find canned hominy in most supermarkets.

Serves 5 to 6 as a generous appetizer or light meal

1 medium pumpkin or squash (about 2 to 3 pounds), such as Butternut, Blue Hubbard
or Kabocha, halved from the stem end to the bottom, seeds removed
Olive oil, for roasting pumpkin or squash
1 red bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 can yellow hominy
8 thin slices Serrano or prosciutto ham, or any good-quality country-style ham
3 tablespoons olive oil
Chopped fresh cilantro and roasted pumpkin seed oil, for serving
Kosher salt and black pepper

Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 425°F. Rub the inside of the pumpkin or squash with a light coating of olive oil and season with salt and pepper; place cut side down on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Place the bell pepper and the poblano in a small heavy casserole dish, coat lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin or squash and peppers in the oven and roast. The pumpkin or squash is done when a knife meets no resistance when inserted into the flesh and the edges are caramelized, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The peppers are done when they are very soft and the skins are well browned, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the oven up to 450°.

Let the cooked pumpkin or squash rest until it is cool enough to handle. Place the cooked peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; cool until you can pick them up with your hands.

Scoop the pumpkin or squash flesh into a large heavy-bottom soup pot. Add the onions, garlic, chicken stock, chile powder, cinnamon and chipotle powder. Simmer over medium heat until the onions and garlic are soft.

Allow to cool slightly then carefully purée in batches in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, lay the slices of ham on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Watching it carefully, bake the ham slices until they crisp and just begin to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on the sheet pan. The ham will get crispier as it cools.

While the soup reheats, peel and seed the peppers (using rubber gloves to protect your hands, if necessary). Slice into thin strips. Pour the can of hominy into a small pot and heat until simmering and warmed through.

To serve the soup, place a heaping tablespoon of the drained hominy into a warmed soup bowl. Top with a few strips of the roasted pepper and one slice of the crispy ham. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of roasted pumpkin seed oil.

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From Cedar Circle Farm, Thetford, VT

Butternut is one of our favorite winter squashes because it is so tasty and stores so well. You can substitute other winter squashes, all of which are delectable sources of vitamin A and potassium. Tailor this easy bisque to suit your taste by adding more or less red pepper flakes, and make it even more delicious by making your own veggie stock. Yields about 1 gallon of soup.

From the farm: extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, potato, turnips, Butternut squash

  • 2­–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup celery, leaves and all, chopped
  • ½ pound potatoes, chopped
  • 1–2 turnips, chopped
  • 4–5 Butternut squash, chopped
  • 2½ to 3-quarts veggie stock or water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, sauté garlic, onions, hot pepper, sage and celery in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in potatoes, turnips and squash. Stir, then add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes, turnips and squash are soft. Purée soup in a food processor or blender. Return to pot and heat. If desired, thin with water, milk or soymilk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Note: You can use celeriac, parsnips or rutabaga as stand-ins for celery, potatoes or turnips. Always peel the celeriac; you can’t really cheat on that one.

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For those who planted them last fall, parsnips are one of the first root crops to dig out of the garden. If you do not have your own, ask a local farmer when the fresh crop will be available.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced vertically into ¼-inch crescents
4 tablespoons white wine (if desired)
4–5 large parsnips, ends cut off and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, coriander and nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
A few grinds fresh black pepper
7 cups water

  1. Pour olive oil into a stockpot and heat on medium high. Add onion, reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the wine (if using). Then add the parsnips, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for 10 more minutes.
  2. Add the water, stir to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the parsnips are tender—about 30 minutes.
  3. Mash the parsnips into the broth using a hard spatula, immersion blender or potato masher. Taste for salt. Garnish with fresh, chopped scallions or fresh, minced parsley and savor each velvety bite.

Healing Properties*

Parsnips: parsley family members that provide folate, fiber and phenolic acids, which may help reduce production of cancerous cells. They contain ample amounts of soluble fiber, which moderates fat and cholesterol absorption in the intestines while diluting bile acids to prevent reflux.

Thyme: contains thymol, an antimicrobial volatile oil that can help prevent colds; rich in flavonoids whose antioxidant activity keeps blood pH in balance.

* “Healing Properties” source information:
Foods That Heal
Plants for a Future

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