My favorite time of year for cooking is fall; harvest food is so yummy! I adapted this recipe from a wonderful lady I hold in treasured memories from an earlier time in my life. Being from Italy, she always cooked food a little differently than how I was familiar with in my short years of kitchen experience at the time. I was immediately intrigued to learn her ways and expand my knowledge. A particular memory enters my mind each time fall sets in of being a guest for dinner and the first course served was pumpkin soup. Pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie were as far as my endeavors into eating squash had reached, and considering it as a non dessert item was new. My eyes were wide and I thought, “Oh I hope I can choke this down.” Boy was I surprised to learn that this would soon be my favorite fall soup! I’m calling it Squash Soup now since it really can be made with almost any squash you choose whether that be pumpkin, butternut squash, kabocha squash, etc. It can be served as a first course or as the main meal with a good hearty fall bread.
1 choice of squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha…) cut into chunks with skin removed (approximately 4-5 cups)
note: I like to cut into big chunks and then chop off the skin, seems easier than trying to actually peel it.
1 medium sized potato (sweet potato, russet, yukon gold…) peeled and cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, washed and cut in to chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
Vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup half and half or coconut milk
1 Tbls fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried rosemary) or herb of choice
salt and pepper
Optional: bouillon (sometimes this is needed if your squash happens to be a little bland, add this at the end if needed after a taste test)
Add all vegetables to a large pot. Fill with broth of choice to about an inch below the level of the veggies. Bring to boil and then simmer until veggies are very soft. Blend all contents in pot until smooth using a wand blender or a regular blender in batches. Add half and half or coconut milk and seasonings and bring back to a very low simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust as needed. Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with hot sauce.
By Alana Simler
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