Winter Squash and Apple Soup with Turnips and Walnuts

 

Winter Squash and Apple Soup with Turnips and Walnuts

Well, it looks as though winter is giving us a sneak peak sooner than expected.  Fortunately, the Redhook Farms market is fully prepared!  With potatoes, turnips, and winter squash in abundance this week, there are plenty of reasons to meet the cold weather head on.  Though we all have a hard time saying goodbye to the CSA’s bountiful assortment of summer vegetables, it’s time to fight off the winter chill already.  And what better way to do so than with a warm, comforting bowl of Winter Squash and Apple Soup with Turnips and Walnuts?

{Recipe after the jump.}

low cooked soups and stews are a hallmark of winter cooking.  When the delicate flavors of summer vegetables begin to fade, we find ourselves with sturdy squashes and vegetables that hold up to a cold winter well.  These vegetables have the hardiness and depth of flavor to not only stand up to the cold, but also make a dreary day a little bit brighter.  I love working with tubers like parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and yams in the winter for their depth of flavor and squashes like acorn and butternut for their mild sweetness.

Even though I use them in stews and soups quite often, I like to roast my vegetables first to impart a deeper flavor than simmering in a liquid will bring alone.  On the bright side, that also means less work for our squash.  Simply split open, remove the seeds, drizzle on a bit of oil, and roast in the oven until tender.  Then just scoop out of the shell with a spoon!  What could be easier?  We’ll apply the same trick to our apples.  Instead of peeling, dicing, and simmering, we’ll just throw them in the oven with our squash and remove the skins when they are done.  Since this soup will be pureed, the roasted vegetables will give the dish a silky thick texture without having to add an abundance of cream or a thickening agent such as roux.

While this dish looks like it takes a long time to prepare, remember that, for most of this time, you’ll be away from the kitchen while your ingredients are roasting or simmering.  It’s actually a peaceful way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, so relax and enjoy. — Adam Gregory

Winter Squash and Apple Soup with Turnips and Walnuts

Servings: 4-6

Cooking time: around 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium CSA Winter Squash
  • 3 medium CSA Apples
  • ½ yellow or sweet Onion
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 2 CSA Carrots
  • 1 Tbs Ginger
  • 3-4 sprigs + 1 sprig CSA Thyme
  • 2 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • ¾ cups Milk (whole or 2%)
  • ¾ cups Water
  • 4-5 medium CSA Turnips
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ⅓ cup chopped Walnuts
  • ½ + ½ tbs Butter
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 4-5 sprigs of time
  • ½ tsp ground or freshly grated Nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Wash all of your vegetables.  Begin by slicing your squash in half and removing the seeds with a spoon.  Place the squash on a baking sheet, skin side down, and rub with oil.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cut your apples in half as well.  Most CSA apples will work well for this, but I would not recommend golden delicious, as they may be too tart.  Varieties of red apples can work well here for a subtle sweetness.  Remove the seeds, rub with oil, and place on the baking sheet with the squash.

2) Place in the oven and cook for around 2 hours.  At around the 1 hour mark, check the apples for tenderness by inserting a knife into the fruit.  If it slides in without resistance, they are ready.  If not, allow to roast for another 15 minutes or so.  When the squash or apples are ready, remove from the oven and let cool.

3) When the squash and apples have cooled enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out their flesh and reserve it.

4) Peel your onion, carrots, and ginger.  Dice the onion, carrot, and celery into a small dice.  Mince the ginger.

5) Heat 1 tbs of olive in in a large pot.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, ginger and springs of thyme and cook over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook for around 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

6) Add the roasted vegetables to the pot, along with the nutmeg and the vegetable or chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Slowly simmer, covered, over low heat for 30 minutes.

7) In the meantime, peel your turnips and cut them into a small dice.  Add ½  tbs of butter into a medium saute pan and cook the turnips over medium heat for around 5-10 minutes or until soft.  Add salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low, and add the honey to pan.  Cook for 1 more minute.  Remove from heat and reserve for later.

8 ) Strip the leaves of 1 sprig of thyme and finely chop.  In a small saute pan, heat ½ tbs of butter.  Over low heat, cook your walnuts with salt and pepper and thyme slowly until they become fragrant and start to toast.  Do not burn the walnuts, and this will make them bitter and unpleasant.

9) Remove the thyme sprigs from the soup and discard.  Add the soup mixture to a blender along with ½ cup of water.  Making sure the top cover is slightly ajar and covered with a towel but held firmly in place to let the steam escape, puree on low speed.  Do not cover tightly or puree on high at first.  This may let too much steam and pressure build up, and you may end up with your soup covering your kitchen if you are not careful.

10) Strain the soup through a mesh strained back into your pot (which has been washed clean).  This step is not necessary, but it does produce a soup with a silky texture as it removes any remaining pulp.  If this doesn’t concern you, skip straining the soup.

11) Add ¼ cup water along with ¾ cups of milk to the blender.  Blend with any remaining soup that can get stubbornly stuck at the bottom of the blender.  Strain this as well if you wish.   Check your seasonings at this point.  You may have to adjust the salt or pepper or sweetness of the finished soup.  Note that this is not supposedly to be an overly sweet soup.  The apples and squash should impart just a little sweetness, but it is, for the most part, a vegetable soup.

11) To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with the turnips and walnuts.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

One response

  1. Pingback: What are your favorite soup recipes? | 1X57

Leave a Reply

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: