Spiced Squash Soup
The Market Garden has made moves to extend the growing season, but there is no mistaking that we’re past peak harvest, and we’re working our way into late-season crops like winter squashes. Unlike their thinner-skinned summer counterparts, winter squash are cured to set the skin to lengthen storage life. “Curing also concentrates the sugars by letting some water exit the squash’s flesh through respiration,” explains Market Garden Manager Josh Carter. “We cure our winter squashes in the greenhouse on tables for 10-14 days before moving them into storage.”
This season, the Market Garden grew eight winter squash varieties: Butternut, honeynut, delicata, honeyboat delicata, spaghetti, sunshine kabocha, koginut, and sugar dumplings. This recipe from our Inn Kitchen calls for butternut or kabocha, but feel free to experiment with what you have on hand from your local farmers. Make this warming soup with the recipe below, or find it at our Farm Store for curbside pickup as available.
Spiced Squash Soup
Yield: 3 quarts
- 5lb whole winter squash (butternut or kabocha), peeled, cored, and cut into 2” pieces
- 1.5lb sweet onions, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- ¼C extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- ½t cinnamon
- ½t ground black pepper
- 2t paprika
- ½t ginger powder
- ½t mustard powder
- 3T maple syrup
- 1 pint apple cider
- 3 quarts water
- 1C unsweetened coconut milk
- Juice from 2 limes
- Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium high heat. This pot should hold at least 6 quarts of liquid. Add extra virgin olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Next add the squash. Season with salt and stir ingredients to incorporate evenly. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
- Turn heat down to medium and add the spices. Once again, stir to incorporate evenly. Allow to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. This will enable the spices to bloom and permeate the squash. Add the maple syrup, apple cider, water and coconut milk to the pot. Do not add the lime juice. This should be enough liquid to cover the ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the soup to cook for an additional 45 minutes, or until you can crush the pieces of squash against the pot using the back of the spoon.
- Transfer the mix in small increments to a blender and process until smooth (usually 30-45 seconds). Once all of the soup has been processed, add the lime juice and stir. Taste soup and adjust seasoning as needed with additional salt.
- To make it the same consistency that we do at the restaurant, pass the processed soup through a fine mesh strainer. This will give it an ultra-rich texture.