10.03.2011

First Fall Soup: Roasted Pumpkin and Butternut

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Last week, I thought fall had arrived. It was chilly for a couple of nights, so we changed out our sheets, I took out my two fall-related decorations (I am a minimalist), we made our first orange soup -- I was all set, I even had visions of using the fireplace soon. But then, this weekend, instead of the promised rain and thunderstorms, we were back to 85 degrees, and I longingly looked at my soup photos and cursed the beautiful Southern California weather.

Until the weather actually changes, I guess I'll just happily remember this soup and the two days of cool weather and pretend fall is here.
Let me start off by saying I had no intention of making this soup. I even said to the husband, "I don't want to use your stupid squash and make a soup!" I didn't really yell this, I kind of mumbled it in an exasperated way. I figured the exclamation would add some drama. 

But the husband, he tricked me, as he often does, with his ignorance. He asked me how I usually roast my squash, so I told him. I should have known better. Because he then cut his little pumpkin and his cute butternut squash in half (bounty from his garden), oiled and seasoned them, and baked them for about an hour. But it doesn't end there, he took them out of the oven, starred at them, and came calling, "So what do I do now? We have no dinner. Are you going to show me how to make this soup? We have to use this stuff I baked." Long sighhhhhhhhh. Wasn't he paying attention? I didn't want to make a soup! I didn't want to use his squash! I obviously should have yelled this!!!

So, we got to making a soup. And by we, I mean I was tricked into making a soup. Although the husband did the essential nutmeg grating for the photo op below. 

Let me end by saying, this was a good tricking, as the soup was creamy and tasted of subtle earthy spices. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and start (at least according to the calendar) the next season.
Roasted Pumpkin and Butternut Soup
Serves 4

2 small butternut squash
1 small pumpkin
halved, seeded, oiled, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour

chicken or vegetable broth, 3-4 cups
1 onion, chopped 
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
fresh sage, a handful
fresh thyme, a handful
1/2 tsp nutmeg 
1 tbsp brown sugar 
allspice, a pinch
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
heavy cream (optional)

1) Bake your squash and pumpkin, let cool, and scoop out the body (or as I like to call it the meat), leaving behind the skin.
2) In a heavy pot, heat your oil and add your onion, carrot and celery mixture, sauteing for about 10 minutes. 
3) Add your squash and pumpkin, chicken broth, bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and bring to boil. 
4) Decrease heat, add your fresh herbs, and simmer for 15 minutes.
5) Remove the bay lead and puree your soup, Grate your nutmeg, add the brown sugar and allspice. Stir and adjust the salt and pepper.
6) Add desired amount of cream, reheat soup and serve.

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