Tiny living means tinier ingredients in and around the kitchen these days. The larger we go, the more there is to manage, so we just don’t go there, which includes large vegetables.
I think that squash are delicious. There is an abundance of squash variety in MidCoast Maine. Tempted as I was to choose a large squash, or several of them, from the produce stand, I remained calm and chose a little dumpling squash. Petite, pretty, perfect for soup, my little green striped friend was going home with me.
One of the things that I love about late summer is how vegetables just seem to work together, like we don’t even have to get them to jive — they just do it. So even though dumpling squash was to be the base for a late summer soup, I knew that it was friends with corn and potatoes and garlic. I also knew that I had some frozen, empty corn cobs laying in waiting for corn stock. My plan was coming together, and I couldn’t wait to make it, eat it and share it with you.
Served with a side of grilled North Atlantic halibut from Graffam Bros. and sprinkled with toasted dumpling squash seeds, it might become your new favorite soup. I’m not kidding. As night fell earlier under the moon and stars and the campfire burned, it became one of ours.
PS – Corn stock is delicious and makes a superb substitute for chicken stock, or you can use it for other soups, like corn chowder or potato soup. Oh so good.
- Yield: Makes about one quart of soup.
- Category: Soup
- dumpling squash, or other sweet squash, like acorn or butternut, deseeded (keep seeds), parbaked and scooped without skin, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced, reserving about one tablespoon for garnish
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed and chopped
- 1 medium redskin potato or other creamy potato, diced with skins on, reserving about one tablespoon for garnish
- 1 cup fresh corn, or kernels from one large ear of corn, reserving about one tablespoon for garnish
- a pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh, chopped parsley, reserving about two teaspoons for garnish
- 4 cups corn stock, or really excellent vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- optional garnishes of toasted dumpling squash seeds, crispy onions and potatoes, raw corn, parsley and your favorite hot sauce or red pepper flakes
- Cut dumpling squash and deseed it, reserving the seeds for toasting if you desire. Parbake the squash. I quartered mine, covered it and cooked with a bit of water for about seven minutes in the microwave, checking it and turning it twice. If you prefer to parbake squash in your oven, feel free to do so. The goal is to be able to remove the squash from the skin so that you can sauté it and finish cooking it in the soup.
- Using a medium stock pot, cook the oil and butter together over medium heat. Near the end of it foaming, add the onion, garlic and potato for a few minutes until the potatoes are a bit browned on the sides. Add a pinch of salt. Toss to coat.
- Add the squash and sprinkle with sugar. Toss to coat and sauté until the squash is a bit browned on the sides, just a few more minutes Add the corn and parsley and stir, cooking for a minute or two more for mingling purposes.
- Pour the corn stock into the soup. The vegetables should be just floating. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Let it boil for just a couple of minutes and then let it simmer, slightly covered, for about fifteen minutes. Taste the soup. My stock is always seasoned, so I wait to adjust anything I make with any of my stocks. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
- While the soup simmers, make your garnishes if you would like to add them to your soup. In a small skillet, sauté the onion and potato in olive oil or butter over medium-high heat until they are browned or crispy. Place them on a paper towel to drain off any fat. Rinse and dry the dumpling squash seeds and place them into small skillet, utilizing the oil or butter from the onion and potato and sauté them, turning occasionally, until they are browned (keep an eye on them). Sprinkle with a little salt and a spicy seasoning, like Northwoods Fire from Penzey's, tossing a few more times. Chop the parsley and organize the corn into more individual pieces if need be. Set aside until you are ready to serve.
- Around the fifteen minute mark, check the soup for flavor and consistency. If you like what you see, turn off the heat and blend it. I use an immersion blender and can make a purée in my pot. Use a blender or food processor if you need to do so. If your soup needs to be a little thinner, add just a bit more stock or some water and reheat before serving.
- Serve it as you see fit -- with garnishes, with bread, with fish or all by itself. It is so yummy. I hope you enjoy it.