Do you know what they do with all those leftover pumpkins hanging out in patches after the Halloween?
It's simple. They give them to various zoos. Just like this one. Or this one. Or even this one. It's practical and so much fun! While animals get a new colorful toy, people have an exclusive opportunity to take a glance at pure joy and that rustic delight sparkling all over the place. This something that lives forgotten these days. Rather too often. Hidden behind our casual chores and massively overloaded schedules.
The truth is, pumpkin is not enough anymore. It's not enough for a simple joy, a few mischievous whoops, just a natural frivolous glee...
But it's still enough for soup. For it, it can go all alone as an unquestionably certified champion, but it can also take a friend along as its fully complementing escort.
I love when this is cinnamon. A lot of it. Or rosemary and honey (well, then it's actually a threesome). But despite these all-well-tried favorites, this time I ended up with a pair of squash and an absolutely-gorgeously-sweet red bell-pepper.
It was good. Almost at the very approach of enough.
Winter Squash and Red Bell Pepper Soup
2 lb (1 kg) winter squash (such as Kabocha, Delicata, Acorn...) or a regular pumpkin*
2 medium red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups (700 ml) vegetable stock
2 Tbsp sour cream
If using the whole squash, peel away its skin. Then cut it into the quarters. Using large spoon, scoop out pulp and seeds from each quarter. Cut into slices, then - into small bite-size chunks.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add onion and peppers and saute until they become soft, for about 5 minutes. Add squash chunks to the pan, and carry on cooking, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften and turn golden.
Pour the stock into the pan, season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes until squash gets very soft and easy to mash. Puree everything with a blender until you get a smooth soup.
Add the sour cream and bring the soup once again to boil. Taste for the last time and add some salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with some toasted bread and maybe a few pepitas on top.
* This weight is for the whole squash that ends up with approximately 1,5 lb (700 g) bite-size cubes.
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