I know you have only really heard of summer and winter. Well the following squash do actually fall into the winter category but they are the first of the winter squash to come in or be sold so I am calling them Fall squash. Winter squash are truly available but they are considered winter because they can “keep” into the winter months. The Delicata Squash is an heirloom variety that has recently reentered the market. It is also known as sweet potato squash or peanut squash. It is rather delicate in flavor, like a cross between sweet potato and corn. And the skin is actually edible, unlike most other winter squash, thinly sliced and roasted it is delicious. Spaghetti Squash is the other squash of interest. I love this vegetable because it is just cool and unexpected! Also, it super easy to prepare and good for you. Here are a few things to try with these great gourds!
Roasted Delicata Squash Soup-Serves 4-6
2 pounds Delicata Squash(about 3 or 4), halved and seeded
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus a few tablespoons for garnish
1 lemon, juice freshly squeezed
Cayenne pepper, to taste
¼ cup pepitas, toasted
Heat an oven to 400°F. Place the squash halves, cut side down on a baking dish and add a little water to the pan. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large pot set over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the flesh from the roasted squash and add too the onions. Pour in the stock and cream and add a pinch of salt and cayenne. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Using a stick blender, puree the soup to desired consistancy. Add lemon juice and check for seasoning. Add more salt and cayenne if desired. Drizzle a little cream on each bowl and top with toasted pepitas. Serve immediately. You can use just about any fall/winter squash for this soup...
** For a side dish: cut the squash halves into wedges, rub with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar or maple syrup and salt and roast at 400°F on a baking sheet until tender, about 40 minutes.
I usually just cut these babies in half, seed, dot with butter and cook in the microwave in a lidded glass dish with a little water until they are tender. This makes a great side dish with just salt, pepper, fresh herbs and freshly grated Parmesan. You can also use it as a pasta substitute and pour on your favorite tomato sauce and top with parm…yum. It is also a good way to get kids to eat some veggies!