Sunday, February 3, 2008

Squash, Yam And Leek Soup With Blood Orange Juice

Even though I'm a fair weather kinda gal, I have to admit that winter does have its good points. Setting aside for the moment that it lasts far too long, winter brings us some very earthy, high in fiber vegetables: Think hard-skinned squashes, rutabagas, turnips, leeks, carrots, beets, celeriac and potatoes, to name just a few. And then winter tops it off with beautiful kales, chards and citrus. Yes! Just when you think your teeth may fall out from lack of vitamin C, in the middle of winter citrus comes to the rescue. The many varieties of tangerines, oranges, and grapefruits alone can perk up a mid-winter meal like nobody's business.

The juice of blood oranges gave this comforting, wintery soup the perfect touch of brightness.

Squash, Yam and Leek Soup with Blood Orange Juice
Christine's original recipe
1 very large garnet yam, peeled and cubed (yields approx. 2-3 cups)
1 extremely large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (yields approx 6-8 cups)
3 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices
1 cup shredded carrots (left from making the carrot cake which is coming up next)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (more is better)
4-6 full stems of fresh thyme
1/2 cup extra-dry vermouth
4-5 cups organic vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly squeezed juice from several blood oranges
olive oil for the pan

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place all the vegetables and garlic in a large, lightly oiled roasting pan. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Lay the thyme sprigs over the top of the vegetables.
Seal the pan with aluminum foil and roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender. Shake the pan from time to time to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You want the vegetables to roast gently and not get very browned.
During the last 10 minutes of roasting, remove the foil from the pan, strip the thyme leaves from their stems, discarding the stems, stir the vegetables gently and put back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Remove all the contents of the pan to a large soup pot.
Deglaze the roasting pan with the vermouth and pour that into the soup pot.
Add 1/2 of the vegetable stock plus the allspice to the vegetables.

Using an immersion blender, start blending the vegetables, adding stock as needed, until it's all velvety smooth. You can add more or less stock, depending on the consistency desired.
When the soup is smooth, stir in the blood orange juice. Adjust with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Cook's Notes:
I didn't measure the vegetables so am guessing as to how many cups I had of both the yams and squash. I'm pretty sure the squash weighed about 5 pounds.
Smooth with just the errant small piece of squash here and there, should you wish for total smoothness, you could put the soup through a food mill or a chinois.
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Copyright © 2005-2008, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ah Christine how incredible you make winter seem like sunshine! Looks like brilliant soup and roasted gives so much extra flavor.

Peter M said...

Christine, where ya been?

Yams and squash colour this soup so well, pity a blood orange get's lost but at least they are seasonal, right?

Paz said...

Wow! Very original and delicious-looking! Love it!

Paz (who needs an immersion blender thingmajig)

Kristen said...

Oh my... this is such an interest recipe. I bet it has an amazing flavaor!

Simona said...

Dinner guest's note: this soup is super-delicious. The combination of flavors is simply perfect.

Paz said...

Simona: You had some of this!? Uggh! I'm jealous! ;-)

Paz xxoo

Anonymous said...

Look a gorgeous colour soup and I'm jealous too could just fancy being a dinner guest at your table Christine.

Christine said...

Thank you so much Tanna. I almost always roast my soup veggies for just that reason - the flavors are so much more intensified.

Hi Peter! I've been around, mostly under a rock with the winter blues.;)
And even though the color of the blood oranges was lost in the soup, the flavor really made it shine.

Paz, I'll put the immersion thingamajig on a wish list just for you!

Kristen, Thank you for stopping by. I just took a peek at your blog and what did I see but a very uplifting post and a gorgeous photo of a brownie trifle. Check it out folks, it's fabulous!

Dear Dinner Guest, um, I mean Simona, Thank you for liking my soup, being such a good friend and for leaving us with such wonderful goodies to enjoy the next day!

Hi Anne, I wish you could be a guest at my dinner table also. Truly I do! Paz too!

katiez said...

Looks gorgeous! I just bought a bottle of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice yesterday. We can't get the oranges but the juice is wonderful.... Looks like tomato juice!

Jann said...

A beautiful creation, Christine and your photos are smashing! What great color this soup has~A warm loaf of bread and this soup....a great winters meal! Thanks!

Christine said...

Katie, fresh blood orange juice just can't be bad!

Thanks so much Jann. I had fun making it. And eating it, of course.

LisaRene said...

This soup screams healthy! I imagine eating a bowl and having a rosy glow all the next day :)

Christine said...

Glad you like it, LisaRene. Thanks for stopping by.