Farm Photos

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter Soup

In our first year here we had a kitchen garden, and grew so many veggies during the summer that we couldn't possibly eat them all. However, we didn't have as much luck in our winter crops. Our autumn brassicas became an early winter snack for deer and rabbits after a tree fell taking out part of the fence. Our root veggies were sparing, and the peacocks made work of our winter greens. Needless to say, in late December here we are with almost no fresh vegetables. There is one crop, though, that is the king of self storage and will warm any cold winter day. Squash; and we've got plenty of them...from pumpkins to butternut to warty yellow squash to acorn. Any squash you've got will do, and will impress your foodie friends as you go from garden to bowl. They've been sitting on my dining table since October, when they were nice for Halloween, and through Thanksgiving. I grabbed one now and then for a jack-o-lantern or a thanksgiving pie...but other than that they served as decor.

Now, as I look around the kitchen for something to cook and realize that we're getting down to extreme basics, the pumpkins on the table begin to take on a new look: lunch. I chose a small, sweet Sugar Baby pumpkin, but any pumpkin or squash will make a good soup.

Cut it open and remove seeds and stringy material. Set seeds aside for roasting or re-planting if they are organic! Get the meat separated from the rind, you can peel it or scoop it out if you want to retain the pumpkin to use as a bowl. I usually cut it into small pieces and then peel it with a knife, because I find scooping exhausting. If you hate trying to get the rind off the meat, then cut the whole thing in half and put in uncovered face up on a cookie sheet. Bake until you can slide a knife through the meat easily, and the rind will just basically fall off.

I don't bother with baking, or using a steamer...I like to do it all in one pot. Fill about 1/4 of the pot with water, and then add enough pumpkin to fill it up to the lid. If it seems like too much water pour some out, or you can evaporate it out later. Place lid on pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until you can slide a butter knife through the pumpkin chunks (or if you already baked it then simmer until you can mash). Mash the pumpkin into oblivion; some people use a processor but I don't find in necessary, chunks are good. What you want is a generally smooth, soupy texture with some lumps and chunks.

Add one can of coconut milk, and a tablespoon of curry powder. Taste, and add curry powder, salt and pepper to your preference. Now, if the soup still feels watery let it simmer, uncovered, until it thickens. If it is too thick, add water! SO EASY! and very good with homemade bread.

Don't forget to roast your seeds! They make a good topping, or just a snack. You can use just about any seasoning you like: garlic powder, cayenne, cajun, curry, parmesan, or just salt and pepper...experiment! Just toss them with some oil and seasoning, spread them on a cookie sheet and roast in a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they look brown and crispy.

No comments:

Post a Comment