Saturday, October 20, 2012

squash soup

Oof, I've been trying to finish up another children's scarf pattern, but I misjudged the length, so it won't be ready for another week.

In the meantime, I thought I'd put up this really, really fantastic squash soup recipe from Jeanette Ordas of everybody likes sandwiches at poppytalk. This soup has a number of great things about it:

1. it's really, really good
2. it's not sweet
3. it's fast and uses frozen squash (it is very good to cook with small children, just keep them away from the peppers — measuring the frozen squash and chopping peeled apples under supervision are a lot of fun).

It has only one bad thing which is that it's a little spicy for a child. What I do is cook most of the spicy spices separately. It's quite easy and just means there's an extra saucepan to wash up at the end.

First, see the recipe here at poppytalk.

My modifications + tip for cooking with spicy peppers around small children and babies:
(this sounds like more work when it's written down, but it's basically just cooking most of the spicy things in a separate pot with just enough of the broth, apples, squash and onions to cook into a concentrated spicy paste):

In a small pot I put a couple of teaspoons of butter, 2 T onions and 3/4 of the chopped jalapeños.

In a large pot, I put 2 T butter, remainder of onion, garlic and jalapeño. When softened, I add about 1/8 t Mexican chili powder to each pot.

I put a tiny pinch of the chipotle pepper to the big pot and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder to the small pot.

I put a few pieces of the apple and squash into the small pot and the remainder into the big pot.

I add in 1/8 cup chicken stock to the small pot and the remainder to the big pot. I cook both according to the recipe (about 20 minutes of simmering).

When it's time to blend, I blend the contents of the large pot first. Then I blend the contents of the small pot. I blend this a lot (actually let it cool a little and blend in a blender), but using a hand blender will be faster and have more texture. I just have one of those children who is against texture, and I don't mind a creamier texture myself.

I serve soup bowls at the table from the main pot and put a small serving bowl on the table with the blended contents of the small pot on the table and the adults can put dollops of it in their soup to get the spice and full flavour. I serve with yoghurt or goat cheese instead of sour cream.

** When cooking with spicy peppers around young children I have found this tip very helpful: use rubber gloves while chopping the peppers. I bought a box of disposable food preparation gloves at the drug store. I put them on when I chop hot peppers. That way I can quickly take them off if my son suddenly starts trying to climb the drapes, without worrying about getting hot peppers on him. I especially found this helpful when he was a baby.

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