Roasted cauliflower and delicata squash soup
- 17-18 oz. (500 g) cauliflower, cut into florets
- a delicata squash (1.5 lb or 700 g), cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings removed (a grapefruit spoon is my favorite tool to do this)
- 2 shallots (2 oz or 60 g), skin removed but left whole
- 3 cloves of garlic, left unpeeled
- olive oil
- 3 cups of homemade light chicken stock (or vegetable alternative)
- 2 cups of water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- fresh lime or lemon juice
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 min
Heat the oven to 375 F. Place the delicata squash, cut side down, on a small baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Do the same with the each shallot (scalogno) and place the foil wraps next to the squash. Spray a baking pan with olive oil and distribute the cauliflower florets in it. Spray some more olive oil on the cauliflower and stir to coat. Hopefully you'll be able to fit both the baking sheet and the baking pan in your oven, so you can do all your baking at once. Stir the cauliflower after 10 minutes of baking and then again 5 minutes later. Make sure the cauliflower bakes evenly. Keep an eye on it and remove the pan from the oven when it is ready (about 30 minutes). Garlic and shallots will be ready after 20 minutes. The squash will take about 30 minutes. Let everything cool slightly, so you can handle the vegetables without worry.
Put the cauliflower, peeled garlic cloves, sliced shallots and the flesh of the delicata squash in a soup pot. (The grapefruit spoon that has helped you clean the squash will also be of assistance in scraping the flesh from the skin.) Add the curry powder, bay leaf and thyme, and the liquids. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender. Remove the bay leaf. Purée using an immersion blender if possible. If you use a food processor, purée in batches and use extreme care. Add more water, if needed, to make the soup reach the desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Reheat the soup and serve hot, by itself or accompanied by cooked hulless barley or another cooked grain you like (possibly whole), or a slice of homemade bread, toasted. After plating, I squeezed a bit of lime juice in my bowl and mixed well before diving into the soup. Adjust the quantity of juice based on personal taste. Optionally top the soup with some sliced almonds toasted briefly in a dry skillet.