This week I made my first Fall soup and my first soup in the food processor ever. So here’s what happened. My friends J & J were out of town and generously offered up their garden full of vegetables for the taking whilst they were away. Thus, the boyfriend and I (in separate harvests) stopped by to relieve the plants of their many, weighty (not to mention beautiful), and colorful tomatoes, a pumpkin, some peppers, and some squash that looked dearly in need of picking. Safe to say, I now very much want a garden. I used some of the peppers in stir fries and roasted a few more. Then after receiving as a gift more tomatoes from some lovely dinner guests, I decided on some amazingly good slow roasted tomatoes thanks to Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/slow-roasted-tomatoes/).
But what to do with the final pumpkin and summer squash? Finally, after a long week of fun and sometimes socially overwhelming grad school receptions and schmoozing, I decided on soup. Yes, I would make roasted pumpkin and squash soup.
Flashback for a brief moment: early last week I roasted a chicken for some dinner guests (the same ones who brought over tomatoes) with lemon, garlic, salt and olive oil on the inside and rubbed in olive oil, salt, and fun special salt (replete with rosemary, garlic, and oregano) on the outside. The chicken was perhaps 6 or 7 lbs and stayed in for 50 minutes, until the wing was very mobile and the juice that came out was clear when I poked the bird with a fork (per my mom’s perfect instructions). Furthermore, this particular chicken was free range, local, and organic, and oh my was it good (if I do say so myself). After a chicken filled dinner (and some chicken leftovers) and bidding good night to our guests, I dropped the carcass with all its garlicky lemon goodness into a soup pot with many cups of water and added more olive oil of course. One strainer purchase (thanks to an impromptu trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and four hours later:
Homemade broth. Yumm.
And now the Food (or Soup #2):
Whole pumpkin cut into big slices roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
A quartered squash roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cloves of garlic.
Roasting time depends on size of slices (perhaps 30-40 mins on 450 degrees) but mostly until soft and scoopable.
Then: scoop the squash and pumpkin and garlic and more olive oil into the blender. Blend. Then add home-made broth. Then blend more. Salt, Pepper, season, etc. to taste.
So I was a little nervous as I went recipe-less on this soup. But then I thought, how bad can it be with delicious local and backyard farming ingredients? And I must admit, it is delicious. And it is gluten and dairy free! And it gets better with age. Thanks to J&J for their delicious and wonderful veggies and convincing me (more than ever) that backyard gardening is most certainly the way to go.