It is this time of year that I crave stews, soups, goulashes, gumbos and all things hearty.
My massage therapist, Kelsey (she’s amazing – check out her profile if you need a new RMT), was telling me that she loves soup but the only soup she makes is heating up a can of Campbell’s. Oh dear Kelsey. To be honest, I didn’t start making soups until about a year ago when I realized how easy it was.
Kelsey shared with me that the best soup she’s ever had was an Egyptian Lentil soup from a former client. So I told her I’ll find a good recipe and share it with her. I didn’t get around to making lentil soup this time (it’s on the list), but it did inspire me to make soup this past weekend.
Per my last post about produce shopping at the West End Farmer’s Market, I purchased some fresh organic delicata and kabocha squash (as I learned from the vendor) for my squash soup.
I found that the most time consuming part of the prep is the chopping and peeling of the squash. Whether it’s butternut or other varieties of squash, the skin of the squash is very hard which makes it important to have good chopping technique to avoid being called 4 thumbs. I found this video which would have been nice had I seen it sooner: .
Here’s my recipe for Spicy Pancetta Squash Soup (a spin on a Jamie Oliver recipe):
4 pounds of squash of your choice, skinned and chopped in cubes
2 medium onions
2 stalks of celery
4 cloves of garlic
100 grams of pancetta (cubed)
2 litres of chicken stock
2 sage leaves (or use dried ones if you can’t find leaves)
1 red chilli or chill flakes
1. Chop up all the vegetables and squash
2. Heat up oil in a pan and put the sage leaves in
3. Add pancetta and let it render down
4. After rendering, remove the sage leaves
5. Add onions and saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic, vegetables and chilli
6. Let the vegetables soften – about 10 minutes
7. Add the cubed squash and chicken stock
8. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer covered for 30 minutes
9. By now the squash should be soft – use a hand blender or blend in a food processor in batches
10. Bring soup back to a boil and you can add some cream if you want to get crazy
11. Finish off with drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, some Parmesan cheese and serve with fresh bread
Let me know how it goes if you do try out this recipe. Enjoy!