Going Gourmet: Carrot & Squash Soup

This soup looks, tastes, and smells like fall

Going+Gourmet%3A+Carrot+%26+Squash+Soup

Kate Nuelle

Disclaimer: This is a recipe that I have never made myself, but I have observed the process many times. My job was to taste test and provide feedback while the recipe was being perfected over several soup seasons.

What is great about a soup is that you get to throw in your ingredients and walk away for a while. It is perfectly flexible to your schedule and your Zoom appointments, making it ideal for a college student or a professor who needs to be able to step away from the kitchen. Another beauty with soups in general but this recipe in particular, the amounts of things you toss in do not have to be precise like baked goods.

However, because of this extreme flexibility, I do not have a clear recipe for you to follow. I am passing along vague instructions that my dad sent, so bear with me and let’s imagine what these amounts mean together. Some ingredients are amount-less, but this is the exciting part; you can sample throughout the entire process and get experimental!

Ingredients:

Cubed squash (approximately 4 pounds)

Carrots (approximately 1/4 the amount of carrots as squash)

Butter

Water

Veggie or chicken broth

Fresh, chopped ginger (peeled and about the size of 2 of your thumbs)

A clove or two of garlic

Chile and paprika are optional

Garnish (mint and/or chive, sour cream)

To start off, pull out your biggest stock pot apparatus and slap it on the stove. You are going to want to melt your butter in the bottom of the pot. Be generous since you will be filling up the pot. Let’s assume that you are planning to serve 10+ people or meal prep for a couple weeks. I am used to this being stored in the freezer for a good while because there’s so much. Really, it is about the texture of the soup at the end. You will want it pretty thick but not jiggly. Now back to the instructions. Throw in some of your squash, so the bottom of the pot is almost covered. Start to carmelize the squash. This will add some warmth and depth to the flavor profile. *chef kiss*

When your layer of squash is carmelized (softening and browning on the edges), dump in the rest of the squash and your carrots. Only add 1/4 the amount of carrots as you added squash, otherwise, there will be too much carrot, and it isn’t as tasty. Your stock pot will be pretty full at this point. Fill the pot with water and broth (chicken or veggie). There’s not really a ratio here to provide. Something tells me that it should have more water than broth, but that is a total guess. *shrug* A nice touch to make it more of a seasoned soup and not a veggie smoothie is the fresh ginger. Peel and chop about two thumbs worth. I have small thumbs, so I might add another couple chops, but I would not recommend that if you’ve been called “gigantor-hands” in the past. That recommendation is said with love, but too much ginger thumb will overpower the soup for sure. Throwing in a clove or two of garlic at this stage is also a good addition.

This is the part when you can walk away, attend a Zoom class, clean your room, do both at the same time (well…maybe not that last one). Let the soup simmer until a fork can poke through the carrots, but they should not be mushy. The time to simmer is about 20-30 minutes. You can probably let it sit for an hour, but not much over without risking extra mushy carrots.

After this part of the process is where you need a special tool: a stick/emersion blender. It makes it super easy to blend the softened veggies while they are in the stock pot. I would recommend investing in a super basic one because it is a practical purchase, but you could theoretically transfer the contents of the pot into a blender. Blend time!

After this point, your soup should be good for eating or additional doctoring. If you plan on serving it up to friends, you might want to make it the day before so all the flavors can meld, and you are happy with it.

Serve up your carrot and squash soup. Add some mint, chive, and even a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!