Red Kuri Squash Soup

About a week ago, I was browsing around at the farmers market when this deep orange squash caught my eye.  I had never seen one like

Red Kuri squash from the farmers market.

it before, so I inquired.  “It’s called a red kuri squash, and the flavor is similar to that of a pumpkin” the man behind the booth told me.

“Whoa”, I responded.  “I have to try it”.

Since then, I have been admiring this kuri squash in my basket of fruits and veggies that I keep on a counter in my kitchen.  Last night, after discussing dinner options with Amy, I decided that I would turn this kuri squash into a soup.

I searched around for some recipes, and I found one that I tweaked to my own liking.

You will need:

1 kuri squash, peeled, and diced

½ medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 piece of fresh rosemary (or a bay leaf)

1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into this wedges

½ cup of chopped, toasted pecans

Olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)

1 pinch cayenne

1 pinch turmeric

Preheat your oven to 375˚.

Begin by cutting your kuri squash in half and cleaning it as you would a pumpkin, removing all of the seeds and stringy flesh.  If you like pumpkin seeds, try cleaning and roasting these seeds… I hear that they are pretty great.

Peel your squash, and cut it into cubes.

Add the squash, onion, garlic, rosemary and some salt to a large saucepan along with 2 cups of water.  Bring the water to a boil, and then cover and simmer over low heat until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Squash, onions, garlic and rosemary cooking in a saucepan.

Next, place the fennel wedges on a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper to save a messy clean up) and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss well.  Roast the fennel for about 25 minutes, until the fennel is tender and beginning to brown.

Roasted fennel, just out of the oven.

When the squash is finished cooking, discard the twig of rosemary and working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Return the soup to a saucepan to keep it warm.  When the soup is fully blended, add the pinch of cayenne and turmeric, and more salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the roasted fennel, toasted pecans, and a drizzle of olive oil.

The soup can keep in the fridge.

The finished product.

The night was a big success.  Amy and I were incredibly excited about how the soup came out, and LOVED the roasted fennel and pecans. Yum!

with love and squash,

Amanda

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Everyone loves traditional pasta.  Unfortunately, traditional, durum wheat pasta doesn’t love all of us.  It can cause us bloating from digestive issues, aggravate certain food allergies, and cause a spike in blood sugar, which can lead to unbalanced moods and more cravings later on.

I don’t mean to give pasta a bad wrap; personally, I love it as much as the next person.  However, there are some great alternatives out there to try, one of my favorites being spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash topped with  marinara sauce.

Spaghetti squash gets its name from its resemblance to spaghetti.  When baked, the inner flesh of the squash pulls out in long strands, making it a great spaghetti alternative.

Once the squash is baked, and the “spaghetti” is removed from its shell, you can treat it like you would any other pasta, topping it with red sauce, drizzling it with olive oil and lemon juice, use your favorite veggies to create a  primavera style dish, or simply add some salt, pepper and blend of your favorite herbs.

What you will need:

The squash after the seeds and pulp have been removed.

1 spaghetti squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

your favorite pasta sauce or seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Cut the squash lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and pulp.

Lightly coat the squash in olive oil, salt and peper.

Using parchment paper to cover your baking sheet, place the squash cut side down, and bake for about 30 minutes (or until a fork can be easily inserted into the flesh of the squash).

When the squash is done baking, set it aside until it is cool  enough to be handled.

Turning the squash into spaghetti.

In the meantime, prepare your sauce.  In this case, I made a simple red sauce out of canned tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper.

When ready, use a fork to break apart the squash and watch as it pulls apart in long strands. *note: if this is your first time making spaghetti squash, get ready to say “oh my god, I can’t believe this” a few times 🙂

Place it in a dish, and top it off with your choice of sauce or seasoning.

Not only is spaghetti squash a pretty rockstar pasta substitute, but it also offers our bodies a healthy dose of vitamin C and calcium, a ton of fiber, along with a slew of other essential vitamins and minerals.  So dust off your favorite pasta recipe and get cooking!  And let me know what you think!

with love and squash,

Amanda