I found the most beautiful squash the other day, a Blue Hubbard variety and I absolutely had to have it. Its colour is a beautiful blue-grey, all muted and subtle with a wonderful shape and hard but smooth skin. Actually I got two unusual ones but I'll tell you about the other one some other time. I've never really made soups before. I mean, I can but I just never chose to - well, apart from at Christmas time when, after what seemed like the 19th day of eating turkey leftovers, we will enjoy its swan song meal (hehe, see what I did there?). It's fair to say we weren't doing AIP this time last year but now, all of a sudden soups seem so nourishing and necessary.
My Mum would make a lot of soups when I was growing up. A retired cookery teacher, she knew (and still knows) how to make the pounds stretch and the food go further. So when she'd got most of her use from the veggies in the larder, she'd chop up the remainder, add the bones from a recent roast dinner, together with some saved meat and it would all be turned into soup. She liked hers smooth and silky, so she would ladle her portion out of the pan into the blender first, whilst the rest of us, who preferred it chunky so we could identify all the bits and pieces involved, would clean up the rest. She'd also do a fair amount of batch cooking so if we had all been out for the day and she didn't want to fuss over dinner, out from the freezer would emerge a tub of nutritious and hearty soup. Then, when my own children were small, they rejected bowls of soups in favour of a plate of something more toothsome. I don't believe they thought of soup as a proper meal and after complaint after complaint I never really bothered making them again.
My boy is a voracious carnivore. This is the chap who has always ordered a ribeye steak in a fancy restaurant and looked down his nose at the waiter's mere mention of a 'children's menu'. Not that those things have ever offered anything for our diet. However, tempting him with soup is going to be my next challenge (for I have now cracked the 'dreaded salmon' debacle). My daughter on the other hand is a real foodie. She was the one watching me roast vegetables for this soup, cadging ingredients off the roasting trays as soon as they emerged from the oven and hoovering up those yummy caramelised bits stuck to the bottom. "No, I need them so I can write out this recipe" I repeated several times. She loves this soup and I'm hoping you do too. Hurrah for a winter of soup making!
roasted squash soup with thyme
The Blue Hubbard squash is very like a Butternut in sweetness and texture, so use the latter if you can't get hold of the Hubbard.
Print the recipe here
1 x 1.5kg blue hubbard squash (or butternut), cut into medium chunks
1 large leek, sliced into large chunks
1 med onion, quartered
3 tbsp coconut oil, divided (I use this one)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 rounded tbsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken broth 1 tsp salt (I use this one)
Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C
You will probably need to divide your veggies into two separate roasting pans so put a tbsp oil in each one, heat it up, put the veggies in the pans and turn to coat with the fat before putting in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn them over a couple of times along the way. When ready, put them to one side to cool a little.
In a large casserole, or soup pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and add the celery. Saute approx 5 mins till softened. Take the flesh away from the squash skin and add to the pan, together with the other roasted veggies, broth and thyme leaves. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or so to completely warm through. Put the soup into a blender in small batches, taking great care not to burn yourself. Make sure to leave the feeder cap open to allow steam to escape, as believe me your hot soup will otherwise explode out of that blender like a rocket into space, not to mention decorate your kitchen walls a shade of orange you might not otherwise have chosen!
I like this soup thick and gutsy but if your preference is for a lighter version, feel free to add a little more stock to let it down. Add it in small quantities until you get the desired result.