Squash Soup.

Looks wholesome, right?

Looks wholesome, right?

I’ve been on a quest, lately, to try all sorts of food that I hated when I was a kid. I figure now is a good time to inflict that suffering see if my kids enjoy any of it.

Squash is on my list. I’ve never been a fan.

My first surprise was how incredibly difficult it is to peel, and chop, a raw squash. It was awkward and challenging and, eventually, I just handed the squash and the knife to my husband. Friends on Facebook later let me know that I could have roasted it, parboiled, or even microwaved it a bit ahead of time.

For now, I’ll post the recipe as I made it – when I make this again, in the future, I’ll update with the new method(s) I use.

Squash Soup

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:
1 buttercup squash (or pretty much any other kind), about 2 pounds
1 large onion, hastily chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon of ground sage
4 cups of chicken stock (no salt added)
1 teaspoon roasted dried ginger powder
parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel the squash while swearing profusely. Cut it in half, scoop out and discard the seeds. Chop the squash into 1 inch chunks.
  3. Combine the squash chunks and the onion in a large bowl. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Mix it around to coat everything nicely.
  4. Spread the squash and onion onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Put it in the oven and bake it for about 30 minutes or until everything looks lightly browned.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot.  Add celery and sage – stir and cook until it’s a little bit softer than it was when you started.
  6. Add the chicken broth and the roasted squash and onion mixture. Bring it all to a boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cooking for another 25 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  7. Use your immersion blender to get rid of all the chunks – or put it in a blender (if you’re crazy and don’t fear burning yourself).
  8. Stir in the ground ginger, taste, and add any additional salt and pepper that you’d like.
  9. Serve hot – top each bowl with shredded parmesan cheese. Tell your kids to guess what kind of soup it is.
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Potato Leek Soup.

This is another one of those soups you make ahead of time and, when you’re ready to eat them, just add some cream and heat!

Unfortunately, Potato Leek soup is not particularly pretty. it’s sort of a greeny-yellow colour, in fact, with specks of pepper floating in the jar. But oh, man, this is some GOOD stuff to eat.

Not pretty, but SO tasty!

Not pretty, but SO tasty!

Here’s the recipe:

Potato Leek Soup

Makes approximately 7 quarts

Ingredients:

2 pounds of yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 pounds of leeks, washed and sliced (here are some tips!)
2 bunches of celery, washed and chopped
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Combine the potatoes, leeks, celery, water and salt in a very large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until everything is soft and happy.
  2. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
  3. Return to simmering for another 10 minutes.
  4. Fill quart jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings.
  5. Process for 45 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure.

To Serve:

Add 4 tablespoons of heavy cream per quart.   Heat the soup and serve!

Carrot Ginger Soup.

Now that I know my pressure canner isn’t going to explode and kill my family, I decided to make something tasty. My entire family likes Carrot Ginger Soup, but my usual recipe includes almond butter (not something that should be included in a recipe to be pressure canned) so I did a bit of Googlin’ to find something that sounded good.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

It turned out beautifully – 6 lovely quarts full of soup (still bubbling when I took this photo). The flavour is bright and cheerful and might even be better than my deeper, nuttier version.

Here’s the recipe:

Carrot Ginger Soup

6 tablespoons butter
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, sliced
6 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
6 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
16 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup honey
Kosher salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. In your favourite large pot, melt the butter.  Saute the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and ginger root in the melted butter for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are tender.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat.  Add the spices (not the salt or pepper) and honey. Stir well.
  4. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender (small quantities at a time) until the soup is smooth and no chunks remain.
  5. Taste soup – add salt and/or pepper if desired.
  6. Ladle the soup into prepared jars, leaving 1 inch of head space at the top. Make sure to wipe the rims of the jars so no residue remains.
  7. Put rings and lids on jars.
  8. Pressure can at 11 pounds for 85 minutes.
  9. Check seals and store. If jars do not seal, put soup in fridge and eat within a few days.
  10. To serve, heat and eat OR heat and add a small amount of cream before serving.