Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sunny Days & Roasted Squash & Wild Rice Soup

Today is a beautiful sunny day... the perfect day for running outside.  Its the kind of day that makes you think spring is right around the corner despite the fact that its January 11th.  Today I did not run outside; I worked out inside.  I ran outside yesterday when it was overcast but the temperature is still warm.

I guess today I'm a bit backwards.. I'm going to have this soup again for dinner.  This recipe is better suited to snowy or rainy overcast days, but its still good to have on days when the thermometer is below 5 degrees - Celsius.  Today will be cutting it close.

When I make squash soup, I usually peel and chop it and throw it in with the stock to cook.  I decided to try roasting the squash first, then adding it to the stock.  Roasting the squash first caramelized the squash a bit and added an extra sweetness came through in the soup.  If time is an issue, skip the roasting part and add an extra 20 minutes or so to the soup cooking part.  

Roasted Squash & Wild Rice Soup

1 large butternut squash peeled & diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp sea salt & pepper

1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp olive oil
3 cups of vegetable soup stock

1/2 cup wild rice
1 cup vegetable soup stock or water
1/2 onion chopped
1/3 cup chopped almonds or pecans
2 tsp herbamare or your favourite seasoning salt

Roasting the squash:

Toss the peeled and chopped squash in the olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast in a for about 45 minutes in at 375 or until cooked through and slightly carmalized.

For the rice:

Cook rice according to package directions using stock.   While the rice is cooking toast the nuts in a dry saute pan over medium high heat.  Watching carefully.  Once the almonds or pecans are fragrant remove from heat and set aside.

Saute the onions in the olive oil.  When the onions are translucent, add the rice and seasoning salt.  Stir in the nuts and set aside.

For the soup:

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and heat until fragrant.  Add the soup stock and roasted squash.  The stock should cover the squash by at least two inches.  You may need to add more or less depending on the size of your pot and how thick you like your soup.  Once the stock is heated through, remove pot from heat and puree either using a hand blender.  Add more water or stock if needed to thin the soup.  Stir in the rice mixture.  Garnish with salt and lots of fresh ground pepper.

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