I adore winter squash and especially Blue Hubbard squash and Kuri squash. These two varieties of winter squash are really sweet. They keep for a long time (I keep mine in the basement) so when I want to rustle up a comforting soup I have one on hand. I wanted to have a super comforting soup on this particular day and opted to go for a Thai influenced squash soup made with Blue Hubbard Squash. Oh yes it had coconut cream in it, rich and decadent and brimming with flavor.
- 1 1/2 pounds of Blue Hubbard Squash – cut into pieces
- 1 large leek – 2 cups diced
- 1 medium onion – 1 cup diced
- red curry paste – 2 tbl
- fish sauce – 1 tbl
- Thai basil leaves – 10 leaves
- galangal – 1 1/2″ knob
- 5 kafir lime leaves
- chicken stock – 4 cups
- 1 can (14 ounce) coconut cream
- 2 tbl olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Roast Blue Hubbard squash for 1/2 hour or until softened and slightly caramelized
- Heat 1 tbl olive oil in soup pot. Add leeks and onions to pot and saute until softened.
- Add roasted squash and red curry paste and briefly saute until curry paste mixed through the vegetables.
- Add fish sauce, chicken stock, and spices to the pot and incorporate all ingredients.
- Simmer the soup for 1/2 hour until cooked through.
- Puree soup.
- Add coconut cream and mix through.
- Serve piping hot.
I chopped up batwan fruit as a garnish.
What is Batwan (Binucao) fruit? Batwan is a fruit of a forest tree native to the Philippines and is common and widely distributed throughout Luzon and the Visayan Islands. I bought it preserved in a jar (mine was reddish in color) but if fresh it is a large green fruit with large seeds. It is commonly used as a souring ingredient in Filipino cuisine. I thought, why not try it with Thai food as a garnish.
I also made a mint/cilantro/Thai basil pesto, as a garnish. Along with mint, cilantro and Thai basil I also used peanut cookies, sesame oil, garlic, fish sauce and olive oil. Quirky but unusual. Recipe to come later.
Garnish with large shrimp, mint/cilantro/basil pesto, Batwan fruit and peanut cookies. I know unusual combination instead but tasty.
I paired this decadent goodness with an old German Riesling from a favorite producer 1996 Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling. Perfect amount of petrol and acid. Decadent goodness with decadent goodness.
I love farmer’s markets and the beautiful winter squashes that are available in the fall. I recently found a squash that I just love, the Blue Hubbard Squash. These babies are beautiful, blueish hue on the outside with bright orange flesh. They are super sweet and make amazing soup as they take on flavors wonderfully. They used to be very common in the early 20th century as they were one of the few foods that could be counted on to pass through a long winter unspoiled, if stored properly. Legend has it that Hubbard squashes came from South America where apparently they have been cultivated for some 4000 years. Stories say that that they were brought to Massachusetts in the late 1700’s. A woman named Elizabeth Hubbard may have been responsible for spreading and endorsing the seeds.
These squashes can be beasts – some can weigh thirty pounds or even more – and with a tough rind that makes getting to the flesh quite difficult. I’ve heard that the best way to open the large ones is to wrap them in a plastic bag and drop them with some force to the ground. They apparently split open easily. I didn’t have to worry about it as my hubbard was just a baby, at least it was small. I managed to cut it open with a sharp knife and then cut off the rind with the same knife. After that I cut it up into cubes so it could be roasted.
I looked in my pantry to see what I could find to complement the squash. I didn’t want to mess around with too many other vegetables so I opted only to use leeks and shallots to keep the flavor of the squash pure. At the end I added some apples as I thought the apples would work perfectly. I wanted just a hint of aji panca (a chili native to Peru) in the soup. This is my favorite chili powder these days, I love the flavor of this chili powder. I added some half and half to finish the soup and to round it out.
I think it worked out well, but you be the judge.
¼ tsp ground aji panca chili powder
¼ tsp Alderwood sea salt
1 tsp French thyme
1 bay leaf
3 1/3 cups roasted blue hubbard squash (cut into 1 cubes)
1 ½ cup diced leeks
½ cup dice shallots
2 small fuji apples that have been cut into 1 inch pieces
5 cups organic chicken stock
1 tbl olive oil
½ cup half and half
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Roast blue hubbard squash (that has been coated with olive oil) for 45 minutes or until soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven
- In soup pot, sauté leeks and shallots in 1 tbl olive oil until softened.
- Add roasted blue hubbard squash to leeks and shallots
- Add chicken stock and spices
- Add apple pieces
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes until apples are softened
- Puree soup
- Add half and half