Orchard Fresh | Tastefully Done

Oh the joy of winter squash…

SignCoordinator / September 10, 2014

The end of summer is fast approaching …the end of watermelons and corn….there is a bit of joy to all the fresh produce leaving….we are beginning to see the beautiful fall harvest!  The colder weather will bring along with it all the cool crops….acorn squash, carnival squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash…..along with that will come Brussels sprouts and a new crop of broccoli and cauliflower. …delicious!!!!
 Squash  are also filled with the nutrients we all need to prepare our bodies for winter.  They have the ability to boost our immune system with omega 3’s and beta carotene which in turn helps us to fight off colds and flu.  The seeds from winter squash are a perfect snack to send in lunches and are so easy to roast and enjoy! They are filled with omega 6 fatty acid and help to keep your body in good working order.
As an added bonus the beautiful skin of squash makes for a easy mess free dinner or side dish.  I spent the afternoon today making a beautiful roasted carnival squash soup for dinner.  It’s easy to make and very filling.  It’s also vegan and gluten free.  Low in calories and high in nutrition.
Carnival squash soup with shitake mushrooms
4 carnival squash
2 medium onions
8 Oz shitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 container of “no chicken” broth
Cut a small amount off the bottom of each squash and cut the top off. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon being careful not to go through the bpttom. Put the seeds aside for now …..place the squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Separate the seeds from any pulp and place them on a cookie sheet with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake them with the squash for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  While they are cooking grab your soup pot! Add the two chopped onions and olive oil to the pot and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent then add the mushrooms and cook until they soften.
Remove the squash and seeds from the oven and let cool slightly.  Using a small spoon carefully scoop out all the sash until your skin is like a bowl. Add all the squash to the pot with the onions and mushrooms. Then add the broth and salt and pepper.  Use an immersion blender to adjust the consistency of your soup. We like ours very smooth.  Let the soup cook on low for another 20 minutes and then serve inside the squash bowls!
Garnish the soup with the roasted seeds. A little aged gouda is incredible on this soup if you don’t mind adding the dairy to your soup.
This soup will knock your family’s socks off….they will want it again and again!!
Enjoy the harvest!!
Have a wonderful day  smile…..laugh…..be happy!!
Alice
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