The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Author Archive

Matty’s Law & Order Soup

with 6 comments

Puréed acorn squash, beet & leek soup

Puréed acorn squash, beet, & leek soup.

In the soup world, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups:  The cooks, who make the soup; and consumers, who eat the soup.  These are their stories:

This is the time of year to harvest all your hard work in the garden.  Not only am I an avid soup eater, I also love to cook using fresh ingredients obtained from our garden.  I had some success on our garden this year, with enough greens and snap peas to last us through the summer.  We have been enjoying fresh salads consisting of cabbage, Kale, and carrots this fall.  Some of the less successful crops this season were the leeks, broccoli, and potatoes.  I read that it’s best to plant leeks indoors in the early spring and then transplant as soon as the soil can be worked.  I think next year I’ll take this advice more to heart.

My biggest disappointment was my potato crop.  Potatoes grow great in Alaska.  I’ve usually had good luck when it comes to potatoes. This year I think I didn’t plant them deep enough.  This resulted in smaller and not as many spuds.  So I have been thinking about what to do with my failed crops.  I hate to waste anything so Kim suggested I make a potato leek soup.  I thought this was a great idea and decided to expand on it.

This last Saturday I was balls deep in a Law and Order marathon when I got the sudden urge to make some soup.  I had a bunch of little leeks, beets, and carrots that I managed to salvage from the garden.  These would form the base of my soup.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough potatoes for the potato leek soup that I was craving.  I realized I needed something else to make the soup magical.  I put some pants on, loaded up the old pom-chi, and headed to the local store.

I ran the gauntlet that we call Foodland, avoiding eye contact with people so I didn’t have to do the dreaded stop and chat.  It was during one of these moments that I spotted what I knew would be perfect.  Squash!

It’s fall after all. What better way to warm the soul than a hearty cup of squash soup?  I carefully picked through the many varieties of squash and stumbled across an orange acorn squash.  Just like the Dude, I knew this squash would tie the soup together.  I rushed home to begin preparation.  The first thing to do when preparing a squash for soup is to cut the ends off and remove the peel using a vegetable peeler.  Then carefully cut squash lengthwise and remove middle part making sure to save the seeds for a healthy snack later.  Once the squash is de-turded you can begin to make the soup.

Ingredients:

-2 tablespoons butter of olive oil

-1 leek chopped into fine pieces

-1 small beet diced

-1 diced carrot

-1 diced celery

-2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks

-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

-3 cloves garlic

-2 sprigs fresh thyme

-Pinch of nutmeg

-1/4 cup fresh basil

-1/2 cup coconut milk

-Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Begin by heating the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the leek and cook until softened, about five minutes or so should do the trick.  Then stir in the beets, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, thyme, basil, nutmeg, and chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until squash is softened about ½ the episode of a Law and Order should do the trick.

2.  Once the squash is done remove the pot from heat and discard thyme sprigs and puree soup with an emersion blender, food processor or any old kind of blender.  If the soup is too thick, you can always add more stock until you get the desired consistency.

3. Next you add the coconut milk and bring back to a brief simmer and then remove and add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy your soup with some warm bread and a nice fresh garden salad.  I would also recommend this soup on a cold wet fall afternoon while in the midst of a Law and Order Bender.  Garnish with fresh basil & enjoy!