Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Super-Vegetable

Our Beautiful cinderella pumpkin was the onset of my recent enthusiasm for all things squash. This morning at the farmer's market here in town I got even more excited over their beauty and variety. Some were red, green, white, grey, and even white with small veins of pink. These perfect vegetables are easily available, stay good for weeks or months on the counter, and are so healthy and versatile in dishes.
I never really cooked squash until Eli needed baby food and I was obsessed with feeding my prescious little one only the best food I could find. Although butternut is more mainstream, I learned that acorn squash (the little round dark green one with ridges) has much more fiber and is a bit sweeter. Yesterday I made a pureed soup of the two, my best yet:

1 Acorn Squash (halved and seeded)
1 Butternut Squash (halved and seeded)
Oil them a little so they don't dry out or stick to your roasting pan and bake, face-down, at 375 for 1 hour or so, until soft when poked. In the mean time saute:
3 Chopped Carrots
3 Ribs of Celery Chopped
1/2 Onion Chopped in
2 TBSP Oil
Until tender and add
2 Cups of Chicken Broth (I just add water and a bouillon cube) and simmer with any fresh herbs like parsley or thyme and a couple bay leaves.
Once the squash is done, scoop it out of the skin and into a blender with some of the broth and vegetables, leaving out the herbs. You may have to do it in batches and add milk or broth to thin out to desired consistency and salt to taste. I served with ribbons of fresh sage.

Now to other uses. This month in Better Homes and Gardens they had the idea of taking an apple corer to take polka dots out of multi-colored pumpkins and switching them around, so, for example, you have a white pumpkin with orange dots. Martha has plenty of ideas for pumpkins, here are some carving templates.
And don't throw away those seeds in those pumpkin guts, yesterday I learned they have many health benefits. With all their domestic uses, what's there not to be enthusiastic about?

1 comment:

kim said...

The soup looks delicious! I made a a butternut squash soup a few weeks ago and it was so sweet and tasty, but the recipe you shared sounds even better. I'll have to try making it this next week. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Helena. I get the Better Homes and Gardens magazine too, and the pumpkin/squash idea using an apple corer is so cute.