Yellow squash soup

Creamy and delicious, this smooth squash soup is among the first of the autumn soups, enjoying the last of the summer squash harvest.

A Palatable Pastime
Yellow squash is the star of this soup, giving it a bright color and a creamy texture.

I’m a locavore. And I don’t just say that because it is a trendy thing. Mind you, I am glad that eating local foods has become more popular. I think it is important to support the agriculture in our area, keep it strong and full of vitality. The simple fact is that your neighbor needs the work, and if he goes out of business, your produce will come from … where? Food that travels is often harvested underripe and overripens during the journey.

But at this time of year, farm stands and markets everywhere are full of the bounty that comes from the hard work and sweaty brow of local growers.

I love going to farm markets. I like seeing the people. I like the sounds. I like the colors. I love love love the smells. It just isn’t quite like the air-conditioned grocery store, is it?

And at this time of year, summer squash are still quite abundant in all the farm markets, after reaching a peak about a month ago (we call that Zucchini-pocalypse in these parts.) And sister to the lovingly green zuke is the yellow squash, sometimes just called summer squash, sometimes crookneck squash (if it is shaped like a cane). And while it certainly is as delicious as zucchini, I have often wondered why it doesn’t seem to be as popular in the garden.

Maybe there just aren’t enough recipes utilizing it without throwing in the green stuff.

Well, OK. So, let’s make recipes using it! And with fall a few short weeks away, soup is really a great idea. It is great for lunches as well as chilly days. And in this particular soup recipe, the yellow squash is going to be the superstar, working out far more aesthetically than zucchini ever would. The color is buttery. The flavor is complex. The texture is velvety. And the cheese on top? Divine!

This freezes well, too, so if you happen to have a yellow-squash-alypse, I’ve got you covered. If not only to get you out of a tight spot with tons of squash, it is always a good idea as autumn brings busier days with school schedules and other events, to have a little something tucked away in the freezer that you can thaw, warm, and serve. Even the best laid planners need a way out sometimes.

Now if only the squash-opalypse would last year round instead of just a few short weeks in late summer, we’d be all set.

Yellow squash soup

4 to 6 servings

1-1/2 pounds yellow squash, chopped
2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons vegetable base
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

1. In a large soup pot, saute the squash, onion, and bell pepper in oil until the onion becomes translucent.

2. While vegetables are cooking, stir together the vegetable base with hot water (or use /homemade/canned vegetable broth.)

3. Season vegetables with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic, then stir in the broth and simmer on low for about 25-30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool somewhat, then purée in a food processor or with a stick immersion blender until smooth.

5. Whisk in the sour cream and grated nutmeg, then gently warm until hot enough to serve, but do not boil at this point.

6. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese, if desired

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: French tomato lentil soup

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