{Dark Days} Week 8: Soup by Trial & Error

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth week of a 4 1/2 month challenge, Dark Days, a pledge taken by 88 blogs spanning the country, to eat one meal a week as sustainable, organic, local and ethical possible.  – Christina

The more I have thought about possible meals for the Dark Days Challenge, the more I think I am understanding what it would have been like to prepare and eat food in a pre-industrial society.  With these meals I can’t follow my whim with fun-sounding dishes, grabbing whatever ingredients my heart desires at the variety of food providers available to me.  My options are slimmed down considerably.  This week I decided to combine my dark days meal with From Scratch Club’s Soup Swap event and made a Squash Apple Carrot soup.  In the end, the soup itself really was mostly just those three ingredients, plus a chicken stock I made the week before from a roasted, locally raised chicken.  The more I think about Dark Days challenge options, the more I envision myself as a peasant woman, cooking outside a wooden cabin, making due with whatever meats the men in my family bring home and whatever scraps of preserved vegetables made it this far in to winter.

Isn’t winter squash amazing?  Harvested at the end of the summer season, it offers us sweet, orangely nutritious options well in to winter!  Rather than writing up the recipe for the squash soup I made, it seems to make more sense to just describe the process of making it, since there was some trial and error.  I started by roasting two large butternut squash in the oven.  I defrosted the broth from the week before on top of the stove.

Once it had roasted for 45 minutes, the squash, which I had peeled and cubed, got dumped in to the broth.  I pureed it all and then added about six medium-sized carrots and two large apples, which I had grated in the food processor.  That all cooked for about 30 minutes and then I pureed that too.

At this point the soup was still too watery and had no substance to it.  I thought about ways to make it more substantial, but there weren’t enough potatoes from the night before and the pasta I considered tossing in was kind of local but not organic.  Then I remembered I had another squash that I had gotten through my CSA but had been using as a table decoration.  My mother helped me peel and cube it and then I roasted it, again for about 45 minutes, along with two CSA onions, also chopped.

Once the third squash was added to the soup and it was all pureed, the cumulative product was finally the right texture and flavor.  The ingredients for this meal that did not comply with the Dark Days rules were salt, ground pepper and olive oil.  Everything else was purchased at the Saratoga Springs Farmers Market.

I had the soup as leftovers for lunch for a few days.  Here it is today at work with some of that roasted chicken and some pre-cooked kale and lentils (the lentils being a non-local addition) tossed in to complete the meal.  May not look so appetizing in Tupperware, but it sure did taste good.

Once it had roasted for about 45 minutes, the squash, which I had peeled and cubed, got dumped in to the broth.  I pureed it all and then added about six medium sized carrots and two large apples, which I had grated in the food processor.  That all cooked for about 30 minutes and then I pureed that too.  At this point the soup was still way too watery and had no substance to it.  I thought about adding potatoes, but didn’t have enough leftover from the night before.  The pasta I had was kind of local but not organic.  Then I remembered I had another squash that I had gotten through my CSA but had been using as a table decoration.  My mother helped me peel and cube it and then I roasted it, again for about 45 minutes.  Once that squash was added to the soup and it was all pureed, the cumulative product was a lovely texture and flavor!
About these ads

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Dark Days Challenge, Gluten Free, Lunch, recipe, Soup, Vegetables

Join The {from scratch} Community!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive blog updates, food swap information and other events. Join our public FLICKR group to share photos of your 'from scratch' endeavors!

6 Comments on “{Dark Days} Week 8: Soup by Trial & Error”

  1. January 27, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    is there a reason that you cubed all the squash before roasting it? we just cut the squash in half, scoop out seeds and bake until fork tender- after it cools we scoop out the flesh.

    • Alexis
      January 29, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Your squash tastes good no matter how we cook it Michael, but I think it tastes the best when cubed first because that makes it so there’s more surface area getting that toasty, salty taste from roasting. It’s a good question though, because when you’re roasting the squash for soup I’m not sure the effort of peeling it is worth that extra flavor.

  2. January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Looks good! One of my favorite winter squash recipes is squash/apple/carrot with lots of garlic, ginger, and a little garam masala.

    • Alexis
      January 29, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Now that sounds lovely!

  3. Amanda
    February 16, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Having it for dinner tonight Alexis. Cant wait and boy oh boy the idea of added all those “leftovers” is just making me soo hungry for it right now!

    • February 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

      Hahah! We are too- wow! Soup-n-sandwiches night…thanks again Alexis!

Start a conversation --> We love feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: