Here in Mississippi, you never know what the weather is going to be like on Halloween. Plan on having a hot bowl of soup for dinner and you’ll be disappointed when the temperature climbs into the 80’s. Last night was like that. Although it was a lovely night and the kids were very comfortable in their light weight, short sleeved costumes, we adults, trudging along behind them from house to house, were decidedly warm.
But it was a good time. Our tradition is to trick or treat with our neighbors, who have three kids, one of whom is taking 7th grade Latin. She suggested that instead of shouting “Trick or Treat” at each house they chant the Latin translation. Now, I have no idea what the real translation for “trick or treat” is, but what they shouted came out sounding like “Trowf auf Delectat.” So this group of kids dressed as devils, vampires, and witches proceeded to go up to houses chanting “Trowf auf Delectat” without explaining the meaning to the people at the doors. The stunned homeowners probably thought they were the children of some cult, chanting praises to Satan. At least, we parents amused ourselves with that thought, and pretty soon we were chanting “Trowf auf Delectat” too. Big fun.
We came home to a pot of nice, hot soup–but first we had to turn on the air conditioning! I made up for the heat of the soup by pairing it with a crisp, green salad, and it turned out to be a delicious meal. The soup is a little hard to describe: creamy and rich-tasting, it has a very light curry flavor but picks up some spiciness from the chipotle chili pepper. It wasn’t so spicy that E. couldn’t eat it, though she did drink a couple of glasses of water with dinner.
I have to confess that I made this with the last of my hubbard squash, but I’m just going to be stubborn and call it pumpkin soup. You can use any type of winter squash you like; since it’s not a sweet soup, the sweetness of the squash doesn’t make a difference.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped chipotle pepper canned in adobo, or to taste (careful, it’s hot)
- 5 cups pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1/2 teaspoon good curry powder
- 3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk or other non-dairy milk
- 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- olive oil spray
- freshly ground pepper
- salt (optional)
- Sauté the onion in a large, non-stick pot until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chipotle, pumpkin and water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until pumpkin is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Add more broth or water as needed to maintain about the same level of liquid.
- When the pumpkin is tender, add the curry powder and soymilk. Using a hand blender, puree in batches until smooth, or transfer to a blender and blend in batches. Add salt and additional curry powder to taste, add more liquid if it’s too thick, and keep it warm while you prepare the corn.
- Place the corn kernels in a large, shallow, non-stick baking dish. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper, and spray the top of the corn lightly with olive oil, if desired. Place in the oven under the broiler and broil, stirring often, until the corn begins to brown. Watch carefully! This should only take a few minutes–a little longer for frozen corn than fresh. Be sure not to overcook or the corn will get rubbery.
- Divide the corn and soup into 4 servings and serve the soup with the roasted corn sprinkled on top.
That hubbard squash got quite a workout, by the way. I used it in Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie Wontons (similar to these), and Cambodian Vegetarian Stew. Just a few large winter squash really could get a family through the winter!