A few years back, the missus and I had gone to Austria on a trip. It was winter and quite cold. We’d ski all day and arrive at our hotel in a semi-frozen state. The hotel taking pity on our plight would serve us hot soup with dinner every night. It was always a cream soup made with a fall/winter vegetable and it was delicious. When we got back to the US, I really craved the soup but realized that putting the amount of cream that was in those European soups was a sure-fire way of ensuring that there were blood thinners and heart problems in our future.
So I started playing around with the recipe to see if the essence could be captured in a healthier alternative. The recipe below is something that has evolved over the years. It has lots going for it. It is easy to make, tastes pretty good, kids love it and it is very hard to screw up. The one below was made using butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots. You can just as easily use a different vegetable – some kind of a cookable, pureeable tuber is a good option for this. Among other things I have used pumpkins, sweet potatoes and acorn squash in the past.
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 chopped onion
1 medium sized butternut squash – peeled, seeds discarded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
1 small sweet potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
2 carrots – peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tomatoes – deseeded and chopped into small pieces
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and julienned
Vegetable stock – enough to cover the vegetables
2% milk (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a stock pot on medium heat.
2. Add the onions when the oil is hot.
3. Cook till onions are translucent.
4. Add the squash, sweet potato and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook till pulpy – about 4-5 minutes.
6. Add the ginger and stock. The stock should be enough to cover the vegetables (yes! I finally got off my lazy butt and made some stock)
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
9. Cook till vegetables are done.
10. Using a hand mixer puree the vegetables.
11. Add more stock (or milk if you want a creamier soup) to get to the consistency you want. This soup should be nice and thick.
12. Adjust seasoning.
13. Bring to a boil.
14. You are done. Serve hot.