Posts Tagged ‘squash’

Bring on the cooler weather, this farm-girl-turned-city-mama is up for it and she has the warm silky soup to prove it.

Begin with a plump organic red kuri squash.  I’ve never seen such an intense orange colour on a vegetable.  I hope the pictures do it justice, this squash was amazing.  Surely there’s a load of vitamins and beta-carotene in there.  I saved the seeds since this was a beautiful specimen, drought tolerant squash which will perhaps like our mild Texas winters.

This soup would be perfect as a soup course for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Red Kuri Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 1 red kuri squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 qt chicken stock + 1 qt water
  • 1 cup milk
  • cayenne pepper
  • thyme
  • garlic powder
  • bacon bits
  • shredded apple (I used half a Gala apple)

You will require a blender or immersion blender stick for this recipe and a large soup pot.

Open the squash and clean out the seeds and strings.  Salt the flesh and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.  Trim the red onion and quarter it, place the onion on the baking sheet.  Roast at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes.  Let the veggies cool on the pan so you can handle them.

Roughly chop the onion and add it to a pot containing the stock and water.  Begin to boil the liquids then add the spices, hold off on salt until everything has been added.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Scoop the soft orange flesh into the pot.  Don’t worry if there are large chunks at this point.  Once all the squash is in, blend the soup until it is very smooth.  Careful, it will be hot.  Add the milk and stir.  Taste for salt and adjust.  Keep the soup warm until ready to serve.

Garnish the soup with bacon that is cooked and chopped, as well as freshly grated or finely diced apple.  Share with someone you love 🙂

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Kitchen toys are so much fun to share with the kids, at least the safe ones.  They love to push buttons and turn handles.  Big Brother was my pasta sous chef for the day, in charge of turning the hand crank of the pasta machine and using scraps of pasta to make his own noodles.  He is obsessed with Kung Fu Panda, and easily convinced he should eat lots of noodles, just like Po.

Little Sister can’t keep still now.  She has learned the tools of the toddler trade: chairs and stools.  These tools are especially useful to see what is cooking.  Any long utensil extends the toddler toolkit to be able to scoot objects off high surfaces and spilling them on the floor.

Big Brother and I worked on the ravioli.  I roasted the softball-sized acorn squash from the garden box with salt and pepper until it was soft.  The flesh of the squash was combined with fresh basil and Pecorino cheese.

The pasta dough is easy to prepare: I used about 2 cups of semolina flour and 2 large eggs.  Pour the flour on the counter and make a well in the middle.  Take off your pointy rings, they will become dough balls and you will tear the pasta sheets as you handle them.   Mix the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour, you might not use all of it.  Knead for about 1 minute until the dough springs back when you poke it.  Cover with a glass bowl and rest for 30 minutes.  Cut slices about an inch thick to begin squishing it down to size, either in a pasta roller or with a rolling pin.  Cut the sheets into squares, roughly the same size squares for even cooking.

Too much water around the rim of the first two ravioli caused a sticky mess.  From then on, I used a sprinkle of semolina flour on the work surface and very little water to seal the edges.

After the squash filling was used up, Big Brother had the chance to make more noodles as I boiled the finished ravioli.

Voilà, fresh ravioli!

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I took the kids to the Round Rock Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  Even with the small number of vendors, we managed to find some good stuff.

Hot fresh pork and chicken tamales (authentically made!), Cinnamon bread, honey, a strange opo squash, and Rosa Bianca eggplants dawrfed by the green opo.  This super-sized squash was 3 dollars and the size of my papper towel roll!

The grower said the opo tastes like a yellow squash or zucchini.  He also said it would not be bitter so I took a chance and bought one to experiment with.  This green goblin goes by many names, calabash, peh poh, woo lo kua, hu lu gua, and the list* goes on.  The interior was slightly webby with a lot of seeds.  A brown liquid seeped out after I cut the squash in half.  Strange, but easily wiped away.   I made a curry sauté with half the opo, saving the other for my next culinary whim.  The texture of the cooked squash was squishy and the smallest pieces were rendered slimy.  I would have kept the cubes larger so that they retained more structure while being tossed around my pan.  There’s always the second half…

Golden Opo Curry

  • 4 slices of bacon, halved
  • 1/2 of a large opo (about 4 – 5 cups diced)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño (seeded)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/4 cup Thompson golden raisins, chopped

Render down the bacon over low heat, remove any crispy bits as you go along.  Alternatively, use a good olive oil.  The cooked bacon is not needed in the final dish, you can keep it in the fridge for breakfast or a baked potato the next day.  Or, just nibble at it.

Next, peel and cube the opo.  Bring the heat up under the pan to medium-high, add the opo and toss with salt and pepper.  Sauté for a minute before adding curry and cumin powders.  Curry needs the hot fat or oil to bloom.  Remove the squash and sauté the onion, garlic and raisins.  You can split the curry between the two batches to infuse the flavor more evenly.  Add the opo back to the pan and stir everything together.

For a completely new veggies, it wasn’t half bad.  Just keep the cubes large or cook quickly.  If anyone else has cooked opo, tell me what it’s supposed to taste like!

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