Sunshine... to wash away the darkness

I'm not sure about the rest of you (well, those of you who have to abide by daylight savings), but I hate when it gets dark at 5 PM. You go to work when it's light out (even that by itself should be a crime!), and when you come home from work, when you should start actually getting to enjoy your evening and relax and do all the things you didn't have time for during the day, it's already dark. And if you're in Oregon, it's probably already raining too. But the dog needs to be walked. After work errands need to be run. Dinner needs to be made.

So here's a bit of sunshine for dinner to keep the darkness (and cold!) of daylight savings away... This soup has a robust, full flavor even though the ingredients are simple. The roasting brings out tons of flavor from the squash, apples and onion. The rest is just a bit of extra love.
And if you like to cook seasonally, this soup is perfectly Autumn, with a color to match!

Sunshine Soup, serves 4-6
1 medium sunshine kabocha squash, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
2 granny smith apples, or another tart variety, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock or broth
chili powder, to taste
salt, to taste

Any squash could be substituted, but the sunshine kabocha is perfect with the chili powder and apples is an excellent combination. Mix the squash, apples, garlic and onion with the olive oil in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with a good dose of salt and chili powder. Roast at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until everything is tender and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly. (I did this on a day I had lots of time, then mixed up the soup and warmed it through on one of my "busy" nights for a quick dinner!) Put the roasted vegetables (and fruit), along with about 2 cups of broth in a blender and blend until smooth. It may take two batches to puree the entire thing. Add more broth if necessary.

Pour the soup into a saucepan and add more broth until you have the texture you want (more if you want it more soupy, less if you like it hearty, thick and like babyfood!). Then add more chili powder and salt to taste, if needed. Heat until warmed through. The flavors will develop if the soup is made a day before, but it's delicious the day it's made also. Enjoy! And Happy Monday!

8 comments from you:

Anonymous said...

Squash and apples are such a great idea! The combination really does scream autumn. And the color of your soup is gorgeous. Oh, and I am firmly in the babyfood camp of soup consistency :) Where do you stand?

Julie said...

Nice picture!

I think the trick of making something on the weekend when you have time to cook, then eating it during the week when you're busier is a good one.

This soup looks delicious. The chili powder sounds like a nice touch.

michelle said...

Anna, why, thank you! I love cooking with stuff I know is "in season" (although I don't always remember to!). I'm definitely in the baby food camp as well - with tons of salty crackers!!

Thanks! I have trouble making batches and freezing it for the week, but this was a nice way to get things done, but still have fresh-tasting and "freshly made" without all the cooking!

Natalia said...

I know! I fell like it's past my bedtime when it's only 5. I think we should all just stop with the daylight savings time stuff altogether! But anyway, that soup sounds and looks delicious!

UnGourmetGal said...

This is my favorite time of year, primarily because of squash, my favorite food! The soup looks wonderful. Too bad I'm sitting on a school computer right now instead of being at home or I would been in the kitchen making a bowl by now.

michelle said...

Natalia, me too! I've heard Hawaii doesn't deal in daylight savings and I'm thinking with that and all the sunshine, Hawaii is starting to sound like a pretty darn good place to be moving to!

Ungourmetgal, Fall is definitely my favorite season (the colors and the food). Thanks for the compliment on the soup!

vlb5757 said...

That soup sounds like something that would go great with some piping hot homemade bread. I love the fall and the foods that go with it!

michelle said...

Vickie, oh, I agree! And I've had this crazy craving for saltine crackers lately too...