Old Mother Hubbard has a cupboard full of Hubbard. Hubbard squash that is. If you have never seen one, they are GIANT things, my favorite variety being the big Blue Hubbard. The first time I saw one I was in awe of this gorgeous unique looking vegetable. There is an apple orchard not too far from the Little Lake House and it was on a tourism day for work that I visited, an they had a huge display of many different kinds of pumpkins, gourds and squash, but the big Blue Hubbard really stood out, and I had to have one.
|A few smaller blue Hubbards among pumpkins and|
other winter squash
|I think next to the pumpkins and other squash, you can|
get an idea of the enormity of this Hubbard.
In researching my Indian flavors I did come across a great blog featuring "How To Build an Indian Pantry". Click HERE to visit.
Now let's talk about spices. Indian spices are so perfect and beautiful on their own, combined in blends they take on a whole new dimension. Complexity, flavor, some with heat, some sweet, most are a true test for the palate- what exactly IS that in there? This soup uses garam masala which is a Northern Indian blend. Garam tells us it's a "hot" spice, but rather than hot pepper burn your face off heat, it refers to the intensity. Normally this mixture contains turmeric, white and black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods and cumin seeds,all ground together. You might find nutmeg, mace, star anise and allspice in there as well. In terms of Indian spices- the more the merrier! Toasting the spices really brings out the aromatic qualities and flavors in the spices.
Let's make some Indian Spiced Squash Soup. You will need-
- 4 cups pureed cooked Hubbard or other winter squash
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons garam masala
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Herb Oil (recipe follows)
Add the squash, coconut milk and broth to pot. Mix well. Cover and simmer for about an hour. Puree the finished soup with an immersion blender (or CAREFULLY in batches in blender). Serve drizzled with a little Herb Oil.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup parsley leaves
- pinch of salt and pepper
This soup is perfect on a chilly, rainy fall day, and even better if you have a fresh from the oven loaf of crusty bread to go alongside. The Indian spices bring a warm feeling to the smooth creamy soup. Give this recipe a try!