SLOW COOKED LOCAL WINTER SQUASH BISQUE
1 large butternut squash or Jamaican pumpkin (approx 3lbs) Note: Jamaican pumpkin is an heirloom to the Caribbean that can be found ground all over the world and particularly grows well in Ontario. Rich in flavour, vitamins and nutrition
1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 red onion, finely chopped (1-2 cups)
2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 fresh red chili
2 tablespoons of turmeric, fresh or ground
⅛ teaspoon of ground clove
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Up to 4 cups (32 ounces) of vegetable broth
¼ cup local honey
1 to 2 tablespoons of butter, to taste (substitute with olive oil or coconut oil for dairy free/vegan soup)
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Peel & remove seeds from squash, chop into 1-2 inch pieces, season the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake until tender and slightly caramelized.
In your soup pot on medium heat with olive oil or coconut oil add the onion, slowly sweat onions for 1-2 minutes before adding the garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili, spices and allow to sweat for additional 2-3 minutes. (make sure you season with salt and pepper)
Now continue to monitor your heat to low – medium heat level. Add the squash/pumpkin to the pot. Submerge with vegetable stock. Note: you can add water or even coconut milk to the soup if it seems too thick. You should be able to stir the ingredients with little resistance, meaning there is enough liquid. Always checking your seasoning (salt)
Continue to simmer for 20-30mins on low heat with occasional stirring. Adjust thickness of soup if needed. Add 2 tablespoons of local honey and blend with emersion blender or traditional blender.
Garnish soup with good quality yogurt, fresh cracked pepper and honey. Serve immediately or cool and store for another day.
“If you know your way around the kitchen, you may already be familiar with this safety tip (or have spent hours cleaning splattered soup off the walls) for blending hot soups or sauces. Fill less than halfway, remove your blender lid's center insert, hold a kitchen towel over the top, and then blend. No explosions!”