Monday, 14 October 2013

One way or the other Red Hokkaido Squash Soup

From what I gather by looking around, it's time for squashes and pumpkins. Really? Yes, I would say so. What do we get out of it? For example, I bought a Red Hokkaido squash. Well, I didn't have to go that far and travel to Japan to get it. From it we can get vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron to mention just a few. Furthermore it is low in calories and sodium. That is, if you are caring about nutrition facts and ... eh ... calories. However, I guess we have to mess around with the calories anyway. But at least you can say, the calories didn't come from the squash.
We are going to have some soup. One day I was invited by some friends ... eh ... just a moment, I invited myself and ... we had some pumpkin soup. Some time later I tried to recreate that soup without having the recipe. 

I may have gotten it slightly wrong, but I will give you some alternative ideas, too. So you can have it one way or the other ...

Let's get into action ... slaughter the squash ... work yourself through the thick skin of it and get things cooking ...

50 g butter
1 onion, chopped up
2 carrots, chopped into smallish cubes
125 g bacon cubes
250 g minced meat
350 g squash, in small pieces (you may use your favourite one of course)
300 g potatoes, in small pieces
Chopped up herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary)
1 large leek, chopped in rings
2 l water
100 g lentils
100 g clotted cream (if you have, I didn't use it ... what a shame)
Salt and pepper

That's the way you do it (or another way):
Well, there is quite some peeling and chopping to do. The potato peeler did a good job on the squash as well.
Well then, get a large pot ready for your soup. We start by melting the butter in it. Once that is done, add the onion. Low to medium heat will do. What I always do is ... relax and take time to peel and cut things. After all I don't want to chop off any parts of my precious fingers. 
I simply work the ingredients list from top to bottom and add pieces once I'm ready with the chopping of it. Therefore, the carrots come next.
On second thought, you might allow the onion and carrots a bit time to get settled in the pot before you add the bacon cubes. Accordingly they need some time to let fat go as well.
If you feel the time is right, let the minced meat hop in and brown it.
Then we have plenty of time to do some more chopping.
The Red Hokkaido Squash has nice and firm flesh. It's a pleasure to chop it once you have removed the skin, which in turn is not so much a pleasure. 
Don't forget the potatoes, which ... honestly ... I did. They had to be added later then. In fact, though, we want them now. And so we do.
Next on the list are the herbs. Off they go and ... eh ... don't forget to stir once in a while.

Get the leek ready and cut it into rings. Those join the party in the pot next.
At this time it's good to have the water ready. I already boiled it in the kettle. Now it's time to get into the pot and bring everything to the boil. Let it simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
Oh ... the lentils ... they go after that and cook everything together for another 30 minutes. That will do.
Should you have clotted cream around (or even other cream) you can add it at the end, season the soup with salt and pepper and ... be happy.
That day when I was eating with my friends, one of them repeatedly was voicing his opinion on the soup that he had the feeling, it had to be pureed. In the end he got his portion pureed.
Well, I didn't puree that one, but ... at another occasion I did the soup a bit different, without the minced meat, the leek and the lentils and with clotted cream. That one got pureed. Above that, if you want it to be vegetarian, obviously, you just have to leave out the bacon as well in the second version. It won't do not much harm.

Originally, when I bought the Red Hokkaido Squash I had some other ideas, too, such as continue my French bread baking adventures and have the pumpkin bread, but ... I didn't. For sure you have many ideas as well when it comes to squashes and pumpkins. What are your favourite dishes?

Before I leave you to that, I like to join the Cooking with Herbs blog challenge over at Lavender & Lovage.
Cooking with Herbs

I might find some other blog challenges later on. You never know. Do you?

Well, that means then to join Javelin Warrior's Made With Love Mondays ... 


Fine, here comes another one ... Recipe of the week from A Mummy Too ... 

Link up your recipe of the week


  1. NEVER see or heard of that type of squash before Chris, but I need to try it now! LOVELY entry for Cooking with Herbs and such a hearty,seasonal bowl of goodness too! Karen

    1. Thanks you, Karen. Maybe I should have included a picture of the squash itself. That was originally on my mind, but then I just went into cooking before it came back to mind.

  2. oooh, I love any kind of squash or pumpkin soup, they always come out so velvety don't they... this looks glorious and an interesting squash i've never heard of either!

    1. Yes, it's always lovely to have one. I'm not sure, though, whether I prefer it pureed or not. Both is good.

  3. I love squash soups (and lentil soups!) but I've never used hokkaido before, so I'm especially intrigued. This looks and sounds delicious with the bacon and clotted cream - a perfect hearty soup for fall!

    1. Thank you, Javelin. Well, it's the time for hearty soups and things that warm you up, although I hope we will still be having some nice days.

  4. Always a pleasure to read your blog, Christian and this soup looks great. I'd have the veggie version and keep it chunky :)

    Pinned! Thanks so much for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. There's a new linky live now, so I do hope you'll pop over and join in :)

    1. Thanks a lot, Emily! Well, this time it was the first time I made the meat version and keeping it chunky. Any way it's a great win. Yesterday I visited a pumpkin farm and was amazed of the variety of pumpkins they had. So many colours, shapes and sizes. I should take some photos next time.


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