I love squash. I love spaghetti squash, acorn, and kabocha squash and pumpkin- and likely all the other types of squashes that I haven’t yet had the pleasure to try. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of cooking with squashes because they seem to be everywhere we look in the market. This means using it in nearly everything. Most of our baked goods have taken on a decidedly orange tinge thanks to the pumpkin (or sweet potato) that we’ve infused them with.
Today though, I’m going to share with you a great (and simple!) soup that I recently tried out. I love soups. They are a relatively low maintenance dish that can be whipped up with minimal effort and left simmering while you finish up the rest of your afternoon/evening duties. Which means way more time for after dinner relaxation!
I made this soup with half acorn and half kabocha squash, because that is what I had on hand, but you can just as easily use any other squash that suits your fancy. I bet pumpkin would be great! What’s so great about this soup is that it is so healthy, and it really doesn’t sacrifice in rich flavour and vibrant colour.
Here’s the ingredients that I used, again, substitute a squash of your choice! I’m sure this recipe would be even more phenomenal with fresh herbs, but I didn’t have any on hand. It’s hard to mess this recipe up, so experiment!
- 2 Kabocha and 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots – chopped
- 1 granny smith apple – chopped
- 1 yellow onion- chopped
- 1/2 red onion – chopped
- 1 clove garlic – minced
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/8 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
The most time intensive part of this recipe is roasting the squash. I did this the night before I made the soup and simple stored the squash in the fridge until I was prepared for it. To roast the squash, simply halve the the squash and scoop out the seeds, place them cut side up on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 400F for about 40 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into the outside flesh. Once roasted, you can easily scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add all the veggies – carrots, apple, onions, and garlic- and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Once those veggies are nice and soft, add all the spices, the chicken stock, and the squash. Stirring often, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the whole thing simmer for a good 420-40 minutes. Honestly, I think the longer the simmer time, the better the soup. If you happen to let the soup reduce too much for your liking, just add more stock. As a good friend always says, best to let all those “flavours mingle!”
After you’ve let the soup simmer for the allotted amount of time, blend it up into a smooth mixture. If you have an immersion blender, all the better, but I just did it in batches in my little blender. If it’s too thick, again, add a bit more stock – or water.
And that’s the soup! I garnished it with a bit of fresh greens. It was thick, rich, and filling, and it made enough to freeze several batches for later use. My favourite!
So, you’re probably wondering why I’ve resorted to the inappropriate hash-tagging of all of my photos.
For the past few days (actually months -years perhaps) I’ve been really bothered by the constant criticism that seems to be flung perpetually from the religious right – and this is that gays are constantly pushing their “Gay Agenda” down the throats of unsuspecting kids, the reluctant public, and the government.
I need to ask what this gay agenda is. All I seem to be doing is trying new things, cooking all manner of wonderful dishes, adventuring as much as I can, and loving with all my heart. Loving everyone. To me, that seems like what a pretty regular person should be doing. So, if I need to adopt the habit of hashtagging all of my posts with “GayAgenda’ just to show how ridiculous the whole thought of that is – then I will.
Here’s how I see it. If the gay agenda is living my life in a happy, accepting, open minded, loving manner then so be it. If it’s living my life where my personal relationships are none of the business of the public, but at the same time not hidden behind closed doors and lowered blinds then so be it. If it’s living a life where I have a unique insight into the restrictions and discriminations that minorities face, and at the same time living with a mind that is open enough to understand that other people will have different viewpoints which don’t have to bother me – then fine – say it’s a gay agenda that I’m flaunting to the public. Personally, I think it should be the human agenda. Open mindedness. Acceptance. Proud of who you are, BUT not so proud that you you can’t see the qualities in others to be proud of as well, and for Jesus’ Christ’s sake (literally, because I think you’re all giving him a bad rap right about now) laying down the judgemental mallet and realizing that simply because the lifestyle that you have chosen for yourself is right for you – it certainly doesn’t mean it is right for your neighbour, or your brother, or your friends.
I have never used the term “religious agenda” to describe the lifestyles of those who attack me. I will try not to look at every one of their actions and label it as a potential, subversive push of their agenda onto the poor, unsuspecting children of today.
All I’m asking is for a little bit of fairness here.