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Squash soup

2005-10-28 14:41:55.320833+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

Made up this squash soup recipe with a few changes based on what I had on hand:

1 Tbdark sesame oil
2small yellow onionsdiced
3 stalkscelerychopped
Heat a large pan, start sautéing the onions & celery
2 tcoriander seeds
1 tcumin seeds
In a dry skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds, toss in the cloves toward the end. Take out and grind in a mortar and pestle until it's powder
2bay leaves
1 thumb's worthfresh gingerminced
1 Tbcinnamonground
1/4 tcardamomground
Add these to the onion and celery, which by now should have put out enough liquid to not burn the powdered spices. Let cook a short time, then add
2 1/2 lbsacorn squash squashpeeled, seeded and chopped
4 cupschicken stock
1 tdried lemon grass
This would have been much better had we had a stalk of fresh lemon grass
1/4 cupdried coconut
1/2 cupwhole milk
A substitute for coconut milk (how can I not have coconut milk in my cupboard? Must rectify!). Toss in the blender and run for a while
1/4 tlemon oil
A substitute for not having the fresh limes. When I first tossed this in I thought it was an excessive amount, but it was almost too subtle in the final mix, so don't add this and the coconut milk until the squash and celery are soft.

Toss in a blender and puree all of the ingredients to date. Serve with:
1 Tbfresh basilchopped
1 Tbfresh mintchopped

I think adding the juice from fresh limes rather than the lemon oil at serving time would really kick it up a notch, and I'd like to try it again without the chicken stock, as I think that there are enough subtleties of lighter flavors in here that it doesn't need that huge kick of umami in the bottom notes.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-28 16:11:29.878949+00 by: ebradway

Wow! Thanks. I've been looking for another good squash soup recipe. I will do this without the chicken stock and will sub soy, almond or rice milk for the whole milk. What about coconut milk?

Remind me to post my Spicy Butternut Squash recipe.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-28 16:21:37.796223+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'd drop the whole milk and the shredded coconut and replace it with coconut milk. That was just an "oh crap, I don't have any cans in the cupboard, what can I do instead" move.

The lemony overtones work rather nicely. If you're cutting out the chicken stock the celery quantity might be right, but another move would be dropping back to just a stalk or two of celery.

I think we'll end up doing it again with those variations soon. Rainy season has arrived, and it's soup weather.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-28 20:30:32.753981+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Spicy Butternut and Red Lentil Soup

A large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
A cup of red lentils
2 tablespoons canola oil
A large onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
" teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of two lemons
A medium tomato, diced
2 cups plain soy milk

Throw the cubed squash and red lentils in a large soup pot with 5 cups of water. Cook until the squash is squishy and the lentils start to disintegrate. Puree this into a creamy base for your soup using a blender or food processor. Pour it back in the large soup pot when pureed (it may take two batches unless you have a really big blender).

Saute the onions, garlic and celery (in the oil, of course) in a skillet until tender, then add to the soup base. Stir in the spices. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Heat to simmer. Add the tomato and soymilk, simmering for another 10 minutes or so. Viola!

This is a vegan variation on a recipe found in Ginny Callan's Beyond the Moon Cookbook, pg. 85.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-29 01:10:03.390773+00 by: meuon

Re: chicken stock. - Have used 'vegetable stock' as a replacement for chicken stock when trying to cook 'vegetarian'. Found it in the alternative foods section at the grocery store and like the taste and feel it gives dishes... and yes, I know how to make it as well, but often I'm only cooking for 2 and this works well for small batches.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-29 01:16:34.404293+00 by: Dan Lyke

I use the stock (veggie or chicken) in boxes, and freeze it when I don't use the full amount. I've also been known to make ice cubes from coconut milk and transfer those to a plastic bag for when I don't use a whole can.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-29 16:23:11.839948+00 by: Diane Reese

I'm "sensitive" (in an unpleasant way) to coconut milk, and you just go on talking about it, waaah. Pout.

I'll just have to go make some of my OWN soup, so there.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-31 04:33:46.181419+00 by: ebradway

Diane: Are you sensitive to young coconut milk or flesh as well? Or are you so sensitive that you don't even want to test it?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-31 20:29:45.646689+00 by: Diane Reese

I tend not to be sensitive to coconut meat/flesh (unless eaten in vast quantities), but the results within the hour after I've eaten something containing coconut milk are so unpleasant that I've given up trying. (And I'm so vigilant about it that I even found myself last Thurs. asking my dentist if the "pina colada flavored numbing agent" he was about to use on my gums had any coconut milk in it. Silly me.)

Is there something different about "young" coconut milk that renders it different from "normal" (?) coconut milk? I haven't heard about this before, but am eager to learn.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-31 20:46:57.728047+00 by: Dan Lyke

I belive that "young coconut milk" comes from unripe coconuts in which the flesh hasn't solidified into flesh. When I've had this at a Thai restaurant, the juice inside the coconut is thick and creamy, not pale and watery, and the flesh of the coconut is soft enoug hthat you can cut it from the husk with the end of the straw and suck all that smooth fatty goodness up through said straw.

I believe that the coconut milk that you buy in cans has been extracted from the meat of older coconuts. In some of the cookbooks I've read they talk about making your own with grated coconut, milk and cheesecloth.

I think what Eric's suggesting is that you might be having a reaction to something introduced during that extraction process, and if you substituted the pureed flesh of young coconuts (how's that for a Halloween inspired image?) you might have a rich, tasty, and non-reactive meal.

Don't know what the risk/reward curve looks like for food for you...