Steaming winter squash keeps the purity of its flavor and the brilliance of its color intact.
It also saves struggling with peeling and chopping what can be a difficult vegetable. You simply halve the creature, put the seeds and a slice of onion and a sprig of thyme in the water which will become stock, then steam the squash over the water until tender. The cooked flesh needs just another 20 minutes or so to become a soup.
If you make a lot of squash soups using this method, you will see how much varieties differ one from another in sweetness, moisture, texture, color, and flavor. (If you’re using butternut squash, an easy squash to handle, you can peel and dice the long solid neck and add it to the onions.)
This is a very clean, simple soup, one that’s embellished only with a fried sage leave. Here it is vegan, but squash is always good with browned butter or ghee, various cheeses (such as Fontina, Gruyère, very delicate goat cheese, and some blues), and crème fraîche or cream.
|1||winter squash or cooking pumpkin, about 3 pounds, halved|
|2||onions, ½ sliced and the remainder finely diced|
|~||Sea salt and freshly ground pepper|
|3||Tbsp. olive oil, toasted sunflower-seed oil, or ghee|
|2||Tbsp. chopped parsley|
|~||A few tablespoons chopped sage|
|2||Tbsp. olive oil or ghee|
Other embellishments for a squash soup: Add 3 small spoonfuls of mascarpone, Robiola, or very mild goat cheese to each bowl. Stir in cubes of Fontina or cave-aged Gruyère before serving. Instead of sage, finish with finely minced Italian parsley. It has a sharp, clean taste that is welcome with squash.
This content is from the book Vegetable Soups From Deborah Madison’s Kitchen by Deborah Madison.
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