Archive for October, 2009

Sweet and Smoky Banana Squash Soup

Well…I won’t lie, the food budget has taken a severe hit over the last few months.  I ate out way more than I should have, and when I did decide to cook, I cooked bourgeoisie-style.  I’d like to introduce my enabler: the super-duper megastore Whole Foods, which has opened up just four blocks from where I live.    Since September, it has been exerting a very powerful force upon my bank account.  But what can I do? I’ve become smitten with their organic celery and enchanted by their technicoloured tomatoes.  Little purple potatoes wink at me beside rows of gleaming apples with names like exotic dancers.  Everyone in there is happy- the shoppers, the checkers, and seemingly, the produce.  In a state of immaculate food bliss, I willingly overpay.  $4 for 4 potatoes? Okay!  $5 for half a cup of walnuts?  Super!  $2 for an apple?  Okey-dokey!  But today, a representative from the Canada Student Loan Bureau kindly reminded me that the first payment on my loans is due next month.  Needless to say, that call burst my elitist vegetable bubble.  And so,  I say not goodbye to Whole foods, but Auf Wiedersehen!  I shall now recommence my grocery shopping in Chinatown at shabby produce dives where fruit flies congregate on last weeks’ bananas,  and the organic stickers are of questionable authenticity.  Or something like that.   But it’s not really farewell…I will be back at Whole Foods, not to purchase anything, but just to say hi to the squashes from time to time.

Anyhoot, here’s a really delicious and filling autumn soup that you can make sans expensive ingredients from elitist grocery providers, with exception of the chipotle puree.  It’s so warm and comforting…the squash is naturally sweet and complimented by the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice seasonings.  The sweetness is perfectly rounded out by the smoky chipotle puree.  Don’t be scared- it’s not spicy, just warm. I had never had banana squash before- what a treat!  They are huge 2-3 foot squashes (or squashi?) but are often sold in chunks at the grocery store.  Skip this recipe if you can’t get your hands on a can of chipotles in adobo sauce- it is the key ingredient (next to the  banana squash, of course!), and trust me, you will want to throw chipotles into everything once you try them!

Sweet and Smoky Banana Squash Soup

1 large chunk of banana squash, about the span of both hands, peeled and diced small

1 tbsp oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 large carrots, diced small

2 stalks celery, diced small

1 cup cauliflower, in small florets

1/2 cup of masoor dhal (red lentils)

1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp cinamin

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp allspice

veg broth or water to cover

1 tsp dry thyme

1 Tbsp chipotle puree*** (or more, to taste)

***CHIPOTLE PUREE: Blend 1 small tin of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce in Blender.  Keeps for 2 months in fridge.

Directions:

1. Saute onion in oil until translucent, add carrots and celery cook for 3 minutes more.

2. Add cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the mix.  Toast, but be careful not to burn.

3.  Add diced squash, cauliflower, and masoor dhal; Cover with broth or water (lentils will absorb a fair amount or water so make sure that everything is really well immersed in liquid); add thyme

4. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.

5.  Transfer half the soup to blender and puree.  Return to pot.

6. Season with salt and chipotle puree.  Adjust to taste.

Enjoy!

xox Laurakins

October 14, 2009 at 3:15 am 1 comment


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