Tag Archives: squash

CREAM OF GLOBE SQUASH SOUP

The weather has definitely shifted to autumn, and the farmers market has begun to wind down. The other day, one of the vendors had piles of different squashes, none of them with labels. I saw a beautiful winter squash that would make a great soup. I thought I was buying a calabaza, but when I got it home it turned out to be a zucchini-like globe squash. Yes, I can hear you saying, “Another zucchini recipe.” I split the squash in half, and roasted it anyway, and it turned out to make a savory soup that was just right for a cool autumn lunch. You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock. You could even make it vegan by substituting vegetable oil for the butter and silky tofu for the cream.

RECIPE

Cream of Globe Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large globe squash
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup cream
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 slice French bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes
  • mozzarella cheese, grated
  • salted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Method

  1. Cut the squash in half, stem to blossom end, and remove the seeds. Brush the melted butter on the cut surface, and place cut-side down on a lipped baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the middle of a 350°F oven. Check for doneness with a kitchen fork. If the flesh is soft, remove from the oven and scoop the squash into a bowl. Set aside
  2. Meanwhile, in a 4-quart covered saucepan sweat the onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Do not allow the onions to brown. Add the rice, and stir until the grains have become translucent. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to the simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked and soft. Stir in the squash, return to the boil, and then simmer for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, and cool enough to work with easily. Puree with a blender. You may need to work in batches. Return the soup to the saucepan,, add cream, and bring to the simmer. Do not boil. Add nutmeg to taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. In a small sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium flame. Add the garlic and stir until the garlic starts to brown. Remove the garlic and add the bread cubes. Sauté until crisp and lightly browned. Drain the croutons on paper towels and salt lightly.
  5. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, and garnish with croutons, grated mozzarella and pumpkin seeds. Serve

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LETTER FROM UNSCENE SHREVEPORT: FARMERS MARKET

Today we went to the Farmers Market at the Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport near the banks of the Red River. We arrived at 7 AM, but there was already a long line of customers waiting to buy fresh corn from the Bailey Farms trailer filled with sacks from the fields of the Mennonite colony in Arkansas. The crowds were otherwise fairly light, but within a short time, the plaza was filled with folks of all descriptions, and the vendors were busy selling their wares. Unscene Shreveport is an ongoing project of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, who are trying to revitalize the riverfront while bringing new ideas about art and food to the community. The executive director, Pam Atchison, met with Sarah and Evan, along with local chef, Jason Brady, to plan events of the day and to talk about the cooking challenge.

Amateur cooks were encouraged to  participate in a free cook-off using a “secret” ingredient from the farmers market. The entrants drew their assignments from a big basket – either tomatoes or squash. It was interesting to see how many were puzzled about  what to do with tomatoes, which were in abundance –  ripe or green, big or small, heirloom or otherwise. There were lots of choices for squash as well.

On Monday evening, contestants were to return with eight helpings of their dish. Sarah, Evan, and Jason would be the judges and also cook a meal from market selections. Then there would be a sort of covered-dish supper with all the entrants invited to sample their competitors’ offerings.  Extra points for using more ingredients from the market. As we wandered around the plaza we saw the bounty of the Ark-La-Tex (the region where the three states come together with Shreveport as the unofficial capital) There were berries of all kinds, fresh watermelons, authentic Louisiana pralines by Dardie, fried pies, fresh and pickled quail eggs, hen’s eggs, meat of several varieties, cookies, cupcakes, bread, goat cheese, and on an on.

I’m looking forward to Monday.

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