Monday, November 4, 2013

Southwest Winter Squash Soup

It's definitely soup season and since I've got a ton of winter squash, that's what's going in the soup pot.  Or in this case, the crock pot.  Unlike the acorn squash soup I made last month, this soup has a kick and some south of the border flavor.  In this soup, the acorn squash gives a bit of sweetness to start, then the chiles, pepper and chili powder come in at the end with a nice kick of heat that kind of sneaks up to say, "hi!"  I was actually surprised by the kick of heat, since I wasn't expecting it to be so pronounced, but it can be tempered with a bit of lime juice or some sour cream to cool things down.  The soup is very tasty and makes a lot--I brought in extra portions for some workers who enjoyed it for lunch--filling, but still light and definitely tasty.

So the summer CSA is still going on, deep into fall and in just 3 weeks we'll pick up our first winter CSA box of the season.  I've been using my squash, but not as quickly as it's being offered, resulting in 7 acorn, 3 butternut, 1 buttercup and 1 dumpling squash waiting to be consumed.  Looks like squash at every meal for the foreseeable future, but that's not a bad thing.  This recipe is easy to make, so if all else fails, I'll just make more soup!  This recipe comes from the Produce for Better Health Foundation and I adapted it for the crock pot, as well as adding in some extras and substituting acorn for butternut squash, but really any winter squash would do.  I added the beans, green pepper and diced tomatoes, as well as the chili powder.  It's a simple chop and dunp recipe that cooks away in the crock pot then gets blended up to smooth for a wonderful bowl of flavorful soup on a cool, fall night.

Southwest Winter Squash Soup


2 1/2 pounds winter squash (I used acorn squash)
2-3 carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 jalapeno
1/2 green pepper
5 cups chicken broth
15.5 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chiles
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheddar or scallions, for serving

Pierce squash all over with a fork and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes.  Carefully remove from microwave, cut off the top and split in half.  Remove seeds and the scoop the pulp from the rind, cutting into chunks.  Discard seeds and rind, then place squash in a 4-5 quart crock pot.

Peel and chop carrots, mince garlic, dice onion, seed and dice jalapeno and chop green pepper.  Place in crock pot with squash and add the chicken broth.

Drain and rinse the black beans, then add to the crock pot with diced tomatoes and sauce.  Stir in chili powder, salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Using an immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency.  Alternatively, carefully scoop out soup and blend in a blender in batches.

Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese and/or scallions for topping.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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