Squash and Ginger Soup

I realize that I have committed the cardinal sin of blogging: the disappearing act.  And I present to you my most humble apology for being AWOL so long, with no explanation.  In fact, I’m not going to bore you with the details of my explanation right now – or ever.  I’ll just leave it at this: for the past week, at any given time, either hubby or I have been subsisting entirely on the following three things: (1) chicken soup; (2) saltine crackers; and (3) ginger ale.  I really didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading about our meals.  The recipes would go something like this: Open Campbell’s chicken soup.  Heat on stove.  Serve with saltines, ginger ale, and sympathy.  Lie on couch and watch Bringing Up Baby (if you’re me) or Star Trek (if you’re hubby).  There… you’re now caught up on all of our meals for the past week.

Now that I’m back to sitting upright and being able to stand the sight/smell/thought of food, though, I’m eating this squash and ginger soup to get me back to 100%.  Ginger is miraculous when you have a tender tummy.  I’ll admit that I didn’t always like ginger – other than the luridly pink pickled ginger that comes with Whole Foods sushi – but I’m a convert.  I love it in baked goods, in teas, in stir-fries and, yes, in soups.  And the best part: you don’t even need to have a sick tummy to enjoy this subtly spicy ginger-infused puree.  It’s a wholesome, warming, wonderful winter soup.  Yum.

Squash and Ginger Soup

1 large Butternut or Blue Hubbard squash (I used Blue Hubbard here)
1 yellow onion, large-diced
2 russet potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (not the powdered stuff)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peel and seed the squash: halve it very carefully, then scoop out the seeds, chop the squash into cubes and remove the skin.  Scrub the potatoes and chop them into cubes of roughly equivalent size to the squash.  Toss the squash and potatoes with olive oil and sea salt.  Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
  • In a large soup pot, saute onions until translucent.  Combine the roasted vegetables with the broth, water, fresh ginger, cilantro (if using) and rice vinegar.  Simmer together for approximately 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Turn off the heat.  Puree the soup (in batches, please, unless you want soup all over your ceiling, and trust me, you don’t – ask me about the Great Pesto-Tastrophe of 2005 if you want more details) in a blender, or in the pot with an immersion blender.  Thin the soup with more broth if you prefer.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with a garnish of cilantro or plain yogurt if desired.

Source: adapted from Love Soup, by Anna Thomas

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