Do you ever walk by the fall squash display at the grocery store and wonder who buys those, or what do you do with them? Well wonder no more. This week I am giving you a recipe to help you be one of those people who can now say in front your friends, “I am going to the store to buy a fall squash.” And you know everyone will be impressed. Even if your friends are not impressed by you buying a fall squash, they will be impressed with your Harvest Squash Soup.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a knife and cutting board, one large or two small baking sheets, a large bowl, a blender or food processor, a soup pot, the stove and the oven.
If you are not allowed to use a knife, food processor, the oven or the stove by yourself, you can ask an adult for help.
ChefElla’s Harvest Squash Soup (1 gallon)
2 lbs. Fall Squash, Medium Dice or Thin Half Moon Slices (You will need 2 lbs. after the squash is cleaned)
-Cut off the root and stem ends of the squash. Trim off the skin of the squash. Cut the squash in half and using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds and fibrous strands. Cut the squash into medium diced pieces or thin half-moon slices.
-I used a Hubbard squash, but you can use Butternut, Kabocha, Turban, Buttercup or other baking squash.
1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed, Medium Dice
20 oz. Chicken Thigh (3 or 4 thighs. This does not need to be exact)
If you do not like chicken thighs, you can use sausage, white meat chicken, duck, or your favorite kind of meat. If you do not want meat in your soup just leave the chicken out.
12 oz. Apples, Large Dice (2-3 apples, your favorite kind)
6 oz. White Onion, Large Dice (About 1 medium onion)
4 oz. Celery, Large Dice
4 oz. Carrot, Medium Dice
6 ea. Sage Leaves, Medium to Large (If you do not like Sage use 1 ½ Tbl. Fresh Thyme Leaves)
1 Tbl. Garlic, Minced or 3 Whole Garlic Cloves
1 Tbl. Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vinegar, Apple Cider, Salad Vinegar, or Rice Vinegar
2 tsp Salt, Kosher or Sea
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 can Light Coconut Milk (15 oz.)
32 oz. Chicken Broth or Stock low or no salt
As Needed Olive Oil
As Needed Pan Spray
Optional Garnishes: Diced Apples, Sour Cream or Crème Fraiche, Chopped Chives, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Spiced Nuts, Croutons, Shredded Parmesan, or your favorite toppings.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 375F. Place one of the oven racks in the middle of the oven.
4. Cover your baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with pan spray.
5. Prepare your squash, apples, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and sage leaves. Add them to your large bowl. If they will not all fit into the bowl you can do this step in two or three batches. Pour 2-3 table spoons of olive oil on your vegetables and mix well. The vegetables should look shiny and should be coated with the oil. If they are not shiny add a little more oil and mix again. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of black pepper to the bowl and mix well with the vegetables. Again if you are mixing in two or three batches just mix in a little of the oil, salt and pepper with each batch.
6. Spread the vegetables evenly over the baking sheet. It is ok if the vegetables overlap and touch. Mix the chicken thighs in you bowl with the left over olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs over the top of the vegetables.
7. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of your oven. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Check to see that the squash and potatoes are nice and soft.
8. Remove the pan from the oven and let the vegetables cool for 15-20 minutes. Set the chicken aside for later. Turn the oven off.
9. Shake the can of coconut milk well to mix the water and coconut. Place ½ of the vegetables, ½ of the coconut milk, and 1 cup of chicken stock into your food processor. If your blender or food processor will not hold this much, simply work in smaller batches.
10. Turn the food processor to high and puree the vegetables until there are no large chunks and the vegetable mixture is smooth. Add the pureed vegetables to you soup pot and repeat the process until all of the vegetables are pureed and have been added to the soup pot.
11. Add the remaining 16 oz. of chicken stock, salt, and brown sugar to your soup and mix well. Heat on medium. Simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
12. While the soup is cooking remove the thigh meat from the bone and cut into small diced pieces. Add the chicken to the soup and mix well.
Serve your soup with your favorite garnish.
Harvest squash soup can also be used as a topping for pasta or as a base for Risotto. If you do not want to make this into soup, simply leave out the chicken stock and you will have harvest squash puree.
ChefElla’s helpers can help by:
Measuring out the ingredients
Mixing the vegetables
Putting the vegetables on the tray
Putting the cooked vegetables into the food processor and helping to run the food processor
Older helpers can help by:
Helping to prepare the vegetables and meat
Adding the ingredients to the soup pot and cooking the soup