Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup

There is no shortage of winter’s harvest here on Vancouver Island. Hearty root vegetables,cabbage and kale are still readily available at our local farm markets, and squash with its tough exterior and versatility in the kitchen are all still providing inspiration and nourishment. I’m fickle when it comes to squash preferences; pumpkin and rouge d’estampes for pies and soup in the fall, spaghetti squash for a fun turn at making ‘noodles’ from its flesh and at this time of year, it’s Hubbard all the way. I’m loving its deeply-flavoured dark orange flesh that’s added depth to creamy sage-flecked risotto and lots of parmesan cheese, and oven roasted for soups. Roasting brings out the sweetness and affords me time to contemplate what flavour direction to take the soup to depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

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To keep with a winter harvest theme, I added chopped leeks and apples, and a good dose of Madras curry powder to keep things spicy and snappy.

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Once the squash is cooked through, cool slightly before scooping it out. Saute the chopped leeks and apple in a bit of olive oil along with two generous tablespoons of curry powder. Saute until the ingredients are mixed together well and aromatic before adding the scooped out Hubbard squash. Stir to mix, and add chicken stock or vegetable stock to about two inches above the ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Once all the elements are cooked through, taste and salt to your likening. Puree the soup. I find the easiest and most practical is with an immersion blender. For a bit of creaminess, I added a dollop of yogurt. If you wanted to beĀ tres exotique, you could also stir in some coconut milk. Either way, this is some fabulous flavours from some simple ingredients.

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