Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Squash Soup

Last week, I brought my graduate students to the diner that the nutrition department bought out.  I challenged them with each bringing one item of their choosing (no discussion beforehand on who brings what) from the farmers market.  Then they had to cook using only those ingredients.  I did bring olive oil, salt and pepper.  The rest was up to them.  I was so impressed with how creative they all immediately got.  The whole point to the exercise was to see what the meal nutritionally lacked or satisfied and how easy/difficult it was to cook seasonally, especially as the weather turns colder.  An interesting observation was few people brought the more expensive items, like bread, meats, eggs, honey.  Lots and lots of veggies.  So in addition to just what was available, they understood how finances often dictated how people shopped and in turn, what they ate.

Anyway, one of the hits of the evening was a three squash soup.  We used delicata, acorn, and butternut.  I recreated it this afternoon.  Well, almost.  I couldn't find any delicata at the market, so I substituted fresh pumpkin and I did use some whipping cream and milk in this version to thicken it up a little and added some spices/herbs on hand.  I would also have a post on roasted pumpkin seeds, but alas, they are already all gone.

1 butternut squash, chopped, de-pulped and peeled
1 acorn squash, chopped, de-pulped and peeled
1 small pumpkin, chopped, de-pulped and peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups water
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

On a baking sheet, spread out the chopped squash.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until soft. 

In a small pan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and onion.  Saute until soft, about 2 minutes.

Then using a food processor, process the onion, garlic, and squash until smooth.  Add to a large pot, along with the water, cream, milk, nutmeg, and ginger.  Raise the heat to medium, until lightly simmering.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. what a great assignment! and a great outcome!...i just happen to be eating a huge bowl of roasted butternut squash soup as i read this! i use red lentils to thicken it...and i always put a huge dollop of plain yoghurt in mine!!!

  2. I am so fortunate to be able to teach such fun classes. I have never thought about using red lentils to thicken soup. Perfect vegan option.