The leaves are falling, the air is getting that crisp feel, and it’s time to get cooking! October is a favorite month of mine. Although, I can find something I like in every month. Canning is one of my favorite things to do. This time of year you can find such great soup making ingredients, such as, squash. I love squash! I was given a beautiful, huge squash from a friend’s garden. I feel so good about cooking with it because I know exactly where it came from. I love to experiment with spices. One of my problems is I go by taste, so I really don’t measure anything when it comes to creating dishes. Baking is a different story because there is a science to ingredients reacting with one another to create beautiful desserts. I hope you will be able to find this inspirational to experiment on your own.
Start with any squash( I have combined different types such as butternut squash and cucurbita)
Bake them on 375 split in half, face down in about an inch of water. I salt my water a little bit with Himalayan Pink Salt. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Scrape the squash out and toss the meat into a blender. Add 2 cups of chicken bouillon water. I use the powder bouillon because it has a more flavorful impact on my dishes vs the cubes. I will add a bit more water to the mixture until I get the consistency I prefer. Make the consistency not too thin. It will thicken a little with the cream. The cream will add a great fat that will bring out the individual flavors you are about to add to the soup. Salt and fat are two components that can make or break a dish.
Blend well until creamy. Then take the mixture and put it in a large pot. Turn the burner to medium heat and add half and half. I added probably about a cup. Stir well. I did add about a 1/8-1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and a few twists of a grinder of black pepper. After the pepper additions, I sprinkled nutmeg until it had a full, unique flavor. Then I canned the soup in quart jars.
Remember, this is just a guide to get you cooking. Some squash is sweeter naturally than others. Taste your ingredients first and then decide how to use them. A friend of mine recommended a book called the Flavor Bible. I love that book. It is so helpful in pairing flavors, especially if you are not familiar with certain flavors.
Have fun exploring and experimenting!