Sunday, January 24, 2010

Roasted Garlic and Squash Soup with Tomato Salsa

This comes from a CSA member, and while it calls for butternut squash, any sweet, flavorful squash will do.

  • 2 heads (bulbs) garlic, outer papery skin removed
  • 5 Tbs olive oil
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 large butternut squash, halved & seeded
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2-3 Tbs chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the Salsa:

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 large fresh red chile, halved and seeded
  • 2-3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place garlic bulbs on a piece of foil and pour half of the olive oil over them. Add thyme sprigs then fold foil around bulbs to enclose them completely. Place the foil parcel on a baking sheet with the squash halves. Brush squash halves with 1 Tbs of the remaining oil. Add tomatoes, pepper and chile to the baking sheet. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes; remove tomatoes, pepper and chile and reduce temperature to 375 degrees F. Cook squash and garlic 20-25 minutes more until squash is tender.

Heat remaining oil in large heavy pot over medium-low heat and cook onions and ground coriander until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the pepper and chile. Blend in blender with tomatoes and 2 Tbs of the olive oil. Stir in vinegar and seasoning to taste. Add remaining oil if desired.

Squeeze the roasted garlic paste out of its papery skins into the onions. Scoop the squash out of its skin and add it to the pan. Add stock and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in hlaf of the chopped fresh herbs and allow the soup to cool slightly, then blend until smooth, working in batches if necesssary. Alternatively, press the soup through a fine-meshed sieve. Reheat the soup gently and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve topped with remaining fresh herbs and tomato salsa.

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