Even though The Council of Twelve isn’t depending on the weather at home, most of the time they have to go out for their work, it takes them to sometimes inhospitable areas on Earth. Despite their powers and their immunity to cold or heat, occasionally, a chill can be caused by a situation, or a happening, rather than weather caused.
In such a case, our consorts have a soup prepared that dispels the cold and chill from their millennia-old bones and lifts their spirits.
Katie’s and Simin’s favorite is this one:
Spicy Blue Hubbard Squash Soup
- 1 medium Blue Hubbard or kabocha squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided, plus more for serving
- 1 medium leek
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Mexican crema
- Queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
- Thinly sliced serrano chiles
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a sharp knife, remove stem from squash, and discard. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and pulp with a spoon, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside. Brush cut sides of squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and season evenly with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Place squash halves, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until squash is tender, about 1 hour.
- While squash is roasting, separate squash seeds from pulp and transfer seeds to a small bowl; discard pulp. Cut greens from white part of leek, and reserve greens for another use or discard. Cut white part in half lengthwise, and thinly slice to equal ¾ cup.
- Remove squash from oven, and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Using a spoon, scrape flesh from skin, and transfer to a medium bowl, along with any pan drippings from baking sheet. Discard skin. Set scraped squash aside, and reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large stockpot over medium. Add leek and onion to pot. Cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, roasted squash and pan drippings, and vegetable broth to pot, and bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced and has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss together squash seeds, chili powder, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl until well combined. Transfer seasoned squash seeds to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 300°F until fragrant and seeds begin to pop, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Set aside.
- Remove pot from heat, and pour half of squash mixture into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute; transfer mixture to a clean saucepan. Repeat process until all squash mixture has been pureed. Bring squash mixture to a simmer over low. Whisk heavy cream and remaining 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper into squash mixture; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- To serve, ladle soup into 6 bowls, and drizzle Mexican crema over each serving. Top with crumbled queso fresco, roasted squash seeds, thinly sliced serrano chiles, fresh cilantro leaves, and black pepper; serve immediately.
Picture courtesy of Southernliving.com