Buying garden-fresh veggies at local farmers’ markets is my latest obsession, and this fall they had an abundance of squashes. I bought a beautiful acorn squash at Coquitlam’s farmers market, as well as an assortment of summer squashes of various odd shapes, and a few regular zucchini. Acorn squash is a type of winter squash with tough skin and beautiful orange flesh. Having bought this acorn squash on a whim, I did not really know what to do with it, so I decided to use it in a soup with summer squashes, zucchini, and tomatoes. For this soup, I slice acorn squash, steam it to soften flesh up a bit, then grill it on the gas barbecue. Grilled squash infused this soup with an unusual slightly sweet and caramel-like flavor. Served with some crumbled feta cheese and chopped cilantro, this was a light yet filling supper for my family.
Recipe: Grilled Winter Squash Soup
- 400-500 g (~1b) beef
- 1 medium acorn squash or other hard-skinned winter squash
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 corn on the cob
- 2 zucchini
- 1 can (398 mL or 14 oz) chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 can (200 mL or 7 oz) sliced black olives
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
Make stock by boiling beef with salt and bay leaves in 2 L of water for 50 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Alternatively, use 2L of premade stock of your choice for meatless version of the soup.
Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Slice acorn squash in 1cm (1/2 in) thick slices. Slice zucchini lengthwise in 1 cm thick slices.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, put acorn squash slices into a metal sieve, and fit on top of the pot. Cover with lid and steam for 10 minutes.
Bring another pot of water to a boil, add peeled corn, and boil for 8 minutes.
Preheat a gas barbecue to 400C, or turn on the broiler.
Slice zucchini in 1 cm (1/2 in) thick slices. Rub zucchini, acorn squash slices, and corn with olive oil. Grill over direct heat on the barbecue until slightly blackened all over. Alternatively, broil vegetables under the broiler. Let vegetables cool.
Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Remove beef from stock and let cool.
Peel and grate carrot. Peel and dice onion. Add oil to a frying pan and fry onions and carrots on medium high until onions start to turn golden.
Peel tough skin from acorn squash and chop. Chop zucchini (without peeling the skin off). Cut kernels off the corn cob with a sharp knife. Chop beef into small pieces.
After potatoes have been boiled for about 15 minutes and are soft, add chopped squash, zucchini, corn, beef, onions and carrots, 1/2 can sliced black olives, and 1 can chopped tomatoes.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with crumbled feta cheese and a few sprigs of cilantro and parsley.