As Autumn is upon us (and my birthday! oh my!), I will share with you my favouritest cool weather comfort food ever – Smoky Autumn Soup. I will warn you all that it is messy to make but bliss to eat!
Fine wire mesh strainer
Hand held electric mixer or large blender
A giant soup pot (I use two large pasta pots as I have no giant pot)
A cookie sheet and tinfoil
Butternut Squash and/or Pumpkin (usually I get a small one of both)
Three or Four Yams
One Orange Pepper
One Red Pepper
One large Sweet Onion
Six stalks of Celery
Optional: Two pears or two green apples
One box of Vegetable Soup Stock or Chicken Soup Stock (Bullion cubes in water are okay, too. Generally I do this with Vegetable stock so my vegetarian friends can partake)
Maple Syrup (NOT Table Syrup. REAL syrup from real trees!)
Mrs. Dash’s Cajun Spice or chili powder
Cut the gourds in half, brush with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Roast the gourds until the flesh is tender. Cut the peppers in half and clean, brush with vegetable oil and sprinkle with sea salt, and place on a cookie sheet. Place the peppers in the oven with the gourds when the gourds are partially cooked.
Meanwhile: Clean, peel, and rough chop the yams. Boil the yams in the stock in a very large soup pot. Clean and shred the carrots and celery and add to the pot. Rough chop the sweet onions and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. When the yams are tender, add the cooked gourd flesh (scoop out the seeds and then spoon it out of the skins) and the roasted peppers.
Remove from heat. With an electric hand mixer or in a blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pour it through a fine wire mesh sieve then blend again. Place blended soup back into the pot. Season with brown sugar, paprika, maple syrup and spices to taste.
Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of maple syrup. Goes great with a toasted dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and/or aged cheddar cheese.