Monday, October 1, 2012
Spaghetti Squash Soup
Recently I proclaimed beets my favorite vegetable, but I actually had to think about that for a minute, because at the back of my mind I could hear a little voice crying out: "What about Squaaassshhh?!?" Yes, I do love squash in all of it's marvelous varieties. Right now the markets, vegetable shops and grocery stores are overflowing with all kinds of varieties of squash in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Last week I did a recipe for Cinnamon Chicken with Buttercup Squash. Buttercup squash has a beautiful red-orange colour and a nice buttery texture. Its cousin, the spaghetti squash, has a unique texture all it's own. When perfectly roasted, the flesh of the spaghetti squash with break apart into long strands which make for perfect "noodles" in this tasty soup.
To compliment and boost the roasted flavour of the squash, I chose to add some roasted red pepper. To roast the peppers, brush them with oil and them roast them in the oven 400F or higher, until the skins are black. Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and then tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap to that the steam they give off will loosen the skin. The charred skin should be easy to then peel off with a knife. Run the peppers under cool water to wash away the remaining bits of skin. To save yourself some time, you could always just buy a jar of roasted red peppers.
The sausage that I use for this recipe is the French rosette de Lyon. I find this sausage works well because it has a nice deep flavour that will add richness to the broth. Because it's a cured sausage, it will still have a nice chewy texture, even after the soup has been chilled and reheated. Using a cured sausage is also a good choice because you don't need bother with pre-cooking it - just dice it up and chuck it in. You can use any sausage you like. A couple options that come to mind would be an Italian salami with fennel or a Spanish chorizo. The smokiness of chorizo would go really well with the flavour of the roasted red peppers.
1 spaghetti squash
150g rosette de Lyon, diced
150g roasted red pepper, diced
1 cup onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tbs dried thyme)
2 tbs vegetable oil
Pre-heat oven to 400F
1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Place the squash skin side up on a greased baking tray and roast in the oven at 400F. Turn the squash after 30 minutes and continue cooking, skin side down, until the flesh of the squash easily breaks apart with a fork - about 15 to 30 minutes more.
2. While the squash is roasting, start making the broth. Heat 2 tbs of vegetable oil in a medium sized pot and then add the onions. Sautée until the onions are translucent and then add the sliced garlic. Sautée for 1 minute more and then add the chicken stock and fresh thyme.
3. Use a fork to "spaghettify" the squash. The flesh of the squash should break apart into long strands as you gently pull it out of the skin. Reserve 2 cups of squash for the soup and set aside the rest for another use. Leftover spaghetti squash will make a nice side dish to any meal when gently warmed with a generous amount of butter.
4. Add the squash, roasted red pepper & rosette de Lyon to the broth and let simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to marry.