Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Recipe: Chili Spiced Squash Soup for One

I wrote this post last night, but fell asleep before I could post it. Lack of leftovers is making me frown, although leftover Cristianos y Moros made for a lovely lunch.

I had a half a roasted delicata squash left from the weekend. It’s particularly chilly today and as I keep my heat as low as I can tolerate without pain, the thought of soup was appealing. 

I’ve seen countless recipes for curried squash soup, but I was having Nadia G’s recipe for Curried Chicken Pot Pie for lunch, I didn’t want to make a curried soup.  I like curry just fine but too much of a good thing is too much no matter how good it is.

Delicata squash has a number of nicknames and one of those is sweet potato squash. This is because the squash can be used as a substitute for sweet potato in a lot of recipes.  It tastes a bit like a sweet potato, and it has a similar consistency.  Sweet potato goes well with chili. Thus was born this soup, which I prepared in the slow cooker. 

This recipe serves one. If you want to make more than one serving, double, triple, gazzilionle, the recipe. It’s an easy, easy recipe and I’m almost embarrassed calling it one, but I really want to share the yumminess.

Chili Spiced Squash Soup for One

½ delicata squash, roasted and peeled
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used vegetarian chicken flavored broth)
½ cup coconut milk*
2 tablespoons chili powder (I used Penzeys Arizona Dreaming, but your favorite chili powder will do) divided
I do not add salt to anything, and don't think this needed black pepper. You'll have to taste test for your own salt and black pepper decision.

Combine the squash, broth, coconut milk, and 1 tablespoon of chili powder in the slow cooker, and mix really well. Turn the cooker to low, cover, and cook ½ hour. Stir in remaining chili powder and recover. Cook for an additional ¼ hour, then check that it is completely blended. You can use a whisk, an immersion blender, or (if you’re brave) pour it into a blender. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later. You may need to add a little more broth or water when you reheat it.

*I used coconut milk because I had some leftover from the aforementioned curry dish. It lent a very sweet layer to the flavor. If you don’t care for your chili to contrast sweet and spicy, you can use dairy milk or soy or almond milk instead. 

If you wish to, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, tortilla chips, or other appropriate topping. I briefly considered throwing in some salsa, but didn’t and I think that was the right decision. It would have been a jarring texture and the flavors wouldn’t have gone well.

I am adding a note because I know two people allergic to capsicum and thus they can't use most commercially prepared chili powders. I'm all with you on the lack of Mexican style seasoning without the nightshade family included. For you I found the following 

1 c minced dried onion
2/3 c beef bouillon
1/3 c chili powder
2 tb cumin
4 ts ground peppers
4 ts oregano
2 ts garlic powder
and I suggest the ground peppers be considered ground black peppers. If that is also a problem, substitute some horseradish or just accept that you're not going to get the heat. Sorry. 

Today I have a half portion of homemade spiced cranberry sauce going (I use 6 ounces of cranberries from a 12 ounce bag, add a half cup water, a third cup sugar, and a bouquet garni with cinnamon stick, allspice berries, cardamom pods, and mace pieces, all bruised and tied up in cheesecloth. (YES they're all from Penzeys! I buy almost all my spices from there, except my curry powder because I have yet to find any curry powder as good as what I get in my favorite Indian restaurants.) I'm going to make homemade green bean casserole with fresh mushrooms (frozen green beans, though) and canned fried onions from Trader Joe's. Once all that is done, I think I'll start sewing or knitting. I have a ton of holiday presents going  but can't show or discuss them until after the recipients get them. Which is a shame because some of them are just wonderful.

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