05 March 2011

cooking: quinoa & squash soup

I'm feeling a little bit of pressure.  To cook my way through a stockpile of winter squash.  Normally I roast squash and enjoy its sweetened caramelized finish in salads or pastas, but with a half-functioning oven, I'm trying to get a little more creative.  Not that soup is very creative, but it is at least a start.

First on the chopping block was the large neck pumpkin that I hauled home from the farmer's market last fall for the whopping price of $5.  According to Cindy, the farmer who grew this impressive pumpkin, these neck varieties are ideal for pumpkin pie (and the kind often found in canned grocery store pumpkin).  But one thing I've learned as I've been eating from the farmer's market these last few years is that pretty much all winter squash are the same as far as using in recipes.  So, one large lump lopped off for this one from Student's Go Vegan Cookbook (borrowed from the library, but available via Google books):  Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup.

The inside of the neck of the neck pumpkin is not unlike butternut squash, but a little stringy.  After chopping, I peeled the skin off with a vegetable peeler and split lengthwise.  I made the choice to scrape out some of the strings before chopping, but I'm sure they wouldn't hurt to stay in (just a texture issue).  Into the pot with quinoa, stock (made from the vegetable stock box), sauteed garlic and onion, and spices.  Very simple.

Once cooled, into serving containers in the freezer.  And after eating my first portion yesterday for lunch, I can assure you, very filling (although I didn't follow the 4 serving thing - I split this into two generous servings and left out the recommended cornbread accompaniment).

Next up, we'll see...


almostima said...

sounds interesting! I've never cooked with quinoa but I understand it's really good for you.

Maybe you can incorporate some pureed squash into a pizza sauce? (though you do need a functioning oven to cook the pizza -- or toaster).

Gretchen said...

The quinoa was interesting - little beads that unfurl these kind of string tails when they cook. Kind of like a cross between barley (toothsome) and couscous (beady).

I'm making a butternut squash salad for a brunch today. Once I get to the end of my rope I figure I can just cook/mash and stick portions in the freezer for later...