Squash Soup & Horseradish Cream

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Even though this is the first week of January – 17 days closer to Spring since the Winter Solstice – we’re still enjoying the last of fall’s harvest, 10 lbs of organic apples and half-a-dozen organic butternut squash still remain. When the last of the squash are eaten, I’ll tap into my dehydrated food storage from which I can continue making brown-sugar Hubbard pies, Kobocha pancakes, pumpkin gnocchi or risotta, and butternut squash muffins, the transition from whole-squash to dehydrated, transparent to my family. In the 20 years I’ve been dehydrating foods, the last half-dozen years using several Excalibur dehydrators, I just feel so thankful I’m able to preserve our food – its taste, texture and flavor, as well as “retaining its living food nutritional values – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and phytonutrients preseved – without hot water bath canning, which destroys heat liable nutrients, or freezing, which doesn’t eliminate bacterial growth.

The unusually large amount of rainfall this past summer made dehydration a bit trickier, as every crop was nearly bursting at their seams with excess water. I wasn’t even aware – had hardly ever considered that such a thing was possible – until I caught one of our CSA farmers lamenting over a crate of tomatoes, having taken a large bite out of one, “My, oh, my, how I miss your big burst of flavor.” Most foods took about 50% longer to dehydrate, but because of the removal of water, the flavors become very intense and concentrated, offering a taste advantage even over fresh!

This year’s newest favorite squash recipe is this squash soup. While it recommends butternut, which is a perfectly lovely choice, I chose the bolder, deeper color Hubbard squash, paired with Emeril’s Blue Cheese Gougeres, bite-sized savory cream puffs with blue cheese, or any other cheese of your choice, baked into the batter. The second time I made this soup, along with the gougeres, I used horseradish cheddar cheese in place of the blue cheese.

Squash Soup with Horseradish Cream

Soup Photo The combination of cream, curry powder, and horseradish makes a wonderful topping for this soup. The original recipe is from “Soup, Superb ways with a classic dish,” page 74. I’ve noted where I made changes in the recipe which serves 6. It’s assumed all ingredients are organic or chemical-free, raised with biodynamic, sustainable methods

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 cooking apple
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder, plus extra to garnish
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock (chicken or duck stock makes this richer)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2/3 cup apple cider (or apple juice, if cider isn’t available)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lime shreds, to garnish (optional)

Horseradish cream

  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream (I used whole-milk yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • ½ teaspoons curry powder