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!