November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! with a Recipe for Winter Squash-Potato Soup

This is the time of year to think about making dishes using the great variety of winter squashes, now harvested, cured and delicious, the northern answer to sweet potatoes and yams. Here is a recipe for a lovely creamy soup, whose sweetness is contrasted with the spice of basil pesto swirled through it. Since I always have some pesto in the freezer, made from the summer's basil crop, the soup is perfect for this time of year. The recipe comes from Potatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook by Maggie Waldron.

1 pound potatoes (the recipe calls for russets, but since I don't grow them, I use what I have and they work fine), peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 pound winter squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
2 3/4 cup chicken stock (I use water)
1 cup lowfat milk
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 teas salt, or to taste
1/4 teas hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Pesto (if you need a simple recipe, you can find it here)

  1. Combine potatoes, squash, onions and stock or water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer to blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Return to saucepan, add milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper sauce. Bring gently to a boil, adding more milk or water if the soup is too thick.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl, add a teaspoon of pesto and swirl with the point of a knife.
makes about 4 servings. I usually increase the amounts so as to have at least 6 servings.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Altoon! I'm copying your recipe; we have a lot of squash this year. What is your favorite variety? Burgess Buttercup and Delicata are mine, but my veg-farming neighbor up the road thinks that Sunshine is going to become the gold(en) standard.

  2. The three squashes you see in the photo above are my current favorites. Instead of Delicata, which I find too sweet, is the similarly colored round Sweet Dumpling. A buttercup type that I like because I find it sweeter and tastier than Burgess is Sweet Mama. Then there's Sunshine, which I grew for the first time this year and really like. The only problem with the hybrid large winter squashes is that they aren't as productive as Burgess for me; not as many fruits, but some are very large.
    Have a fun holiday!

  3. Altoon, this looks like an excellent recipe. I still have some basil outside to make pesto of--and a wonderful butternut squash sitting on my counter with the mud from my friend's garden stippling its side. Love the still life of squash you've created here.

  4. hi Hannah, I hope you like the recipe. I enjoy setting up still lives and photographing them; it's a fun challenge and the squashes made wonderful subjects.

  5. Your squashes look almost too pretty to cut into! But I love squash — in soup, roasted and tossed in a salad. So many ways to enjoy them.