I have been making soup every week since cold weather set in. Any time we have leftover bones or carcasses, I begin a soup stock that sometimes takes two days to make; it's rich and savory and serves as the basis for a variety of soup recipes.
Homemade stock - apparently it's more stylishly called bone broth at the moment - is essential for casseroles and many vegetable dishes, as well as soup. When you focus on fresh or from-scratch foods, prepared sauces and soups begin to taste horrible in fairly short order.
Sampling stock in progress is a perk; I use about a half dozen spoons in the process. I throw vegetable scraps and leftovers into soup, so I've had some interesting combinations this winter. Cauliflower-corn-red pepper soup was probably my favorite.
But oh, this soup, this sweet Curried Winter Squash Soup, a gift from a bread-making friend, was probably one of the best soups I've ever tasted and although I haven't made it myself yet, I know she's OK with sharing the recipe. A farm market vendor, she posted it on our market's Facebook page.
Curried Winter Squash Soup
- 2 pounds winter squash
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup celery
- 1 or 2 sweet apples peeled, cored and diced
- salt and fresh-bourn pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup unsweetened apple cider
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup buttermilk (or ¾ cup milk and ¼ cup sour cream)
- 1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger root, divided
- Fresh grated nutmeg
Melt the butter and brown onions and celery until tender and clear. Add apples, broth, cider, bay leaf and curry. Bring mixture to a boil, reducing heat and simmering for 20 minutes. Add squash.
Use a blender to purée mixture, about one cup at a time. Add the ginger gradually.
Stir in milk and heat the soup again, but do not boil it. Adjust seasonings such as salt and pepper and garnish with fresh-grated nutmeg.
I'd serve this with a ham sandwich and coleslaw.
Thanks to Brenda of Bay Bakers for allowing me to showcase her recipe.