ffwd: spur-of-the-moment soup

Soup! I love soup, especially this time of year. As the weather cools off and there’s a chill in the air, soup is just the perfect thing. Also, I love a hot lunch, making soup the perfect thing for lunch.

The selected recipe this week for French Fridays with Dorie was Spur-of-the-Moment Soup, aka Stone Soup. It’s a recipe, but also, in typical Dorie fashion, it is also a jumping off point for making a pot of vegetable soup from what you have on hand.

The book offers a carrot version of the soup. In the fall, I can’t seem to leave a farmers market, farm stand or grocery store without yet another winter squash in hand, so the natural choice was for me to make a winter squash version of the soup.

I’ve seen a couple of new (to me) varieties of winter squash around this year. One I found this week is Sunshine, a variety of Kabocha squash. Another is Rugosa, an Italian heirloom variety that looks like a wrinkly butternut squash. That’s what I used for my spur-of-the-moment soup. The squash has a thick skin, so I used a pound of squash flesh, after I’d seeded and peeled it.

Rugosa Squash

Chopped aromatic vegetables (onion, celery, and garlic) are softened in butter along with the squash. I also added a large sprig of thyme along with a large sprig of sage. Once the vegetables are softened, a chopped potato is added, along with chicken broth, and everything simmers until the potato is soft. The soup could be left chunky or pureed. I opted to puree the soup in the blender because that’s the texture I prefer.

The resulting soup had a nice squashy flavor. I prefer this kind of soup a little thicker, so would add less broth next time, maybe only a quart, but otherwise, it’s a keeper. As described, this “stone soup” is the perfect back-pocket sort of recipe to pull out to make as soup from whatever vegetables are on hand.

To accompany the soup and make a satisfying meal, I made a cheese quesadilla to go with it. For me, the ingredients are pantry items, and I can usually throw one together even when it seems like the cupboard is bare.

Cheese Quesadilla
Makes one (multiply as needed)

Butter
1 flour tortilla (whole wheat is nice)
1 oz cheese, grated (my favorite is pepper jack, but cheddar or plain jack are both good)
1 large spoonful of salsa

In a skillet set over medium heat, melt a small pat of butter. Place the tortilla in the skillet and swirl in around to coat the bottom with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. When the cheese is almost melted, drizzle salsa over the cheese. Fold the tortilla in half. Be gentle, you don’t want to the fold to break. If the bottom of the tortilla is nicely browned and the cheese is melted, it’s ready. If the tortilla isn’t browned, let it cook for a few more minutes, flipping it over so both sides are browned. Remove to a cutting board and slice in half or quarters.

If you’d like to try making this soup, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see the end result for the other FFWD bloggers, check out their links here.

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Posted on 19 October 2012, in French Fridays with Dorie, Soup and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Oooohhh, quesadillas :-) (Great idea)
    I love the squash concept and would take a bowl of that an yday.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Awesome! And I love pairing cheese quesadillas with the soup: also simple and easy to prepare!

  3. I must try out your modifications. Any excuse to use sage.

  4. We had quesadillas with ours, too! Great minds… ;)

  5. I’m the same way, I love finding new squash types at the market. Looks like you found a great one for this week’s recipe.

  6. Sounds yummy! Of course, a cheese quesadilla makes everything better! :)

  7. Cheese quesadilla on the side!! NICE!!

  8. Betsy, what a wonderful version of the Vegetable Soup you prepared – these different kinds of squash sound wonderful and I love the color of your puréed soup – a nice warm fall color!

    Have a great weekend!

  9. The soup looks and sounds delicious:) Love the squash. That will be my next adventure with this soup. Thanks for sharing:)

  10. Quesadillas were a great pairing! Have a wonderful weekend~

  11. I have not seen those squash here, but I will be on the lookout for them. I really enjoy trying the heirloom varieties and can imagine that it gave this soup so much flavor. Quesadillas are a perfect choice with this soup. Hope you have a great weekend!

  12. I do like your squash version – sounds like a terrific variation.

  13. I haven’t heard of rugosa winter squash. Was it like butternut in flavor and texture? Yes, I always buy too many winter squashes and am usually tired of eating them before we get through our winter store. But I do that every year because they’re so beautiful!

  14. I like squash soup, Betsy, and that you found a new (to you) heirloom, the Rugosa, is even better. I usually purchase the old tried-and-true butternut version but I need to walk out on that limb a little further and try these new heirlooms that are coming on the market (thank you, Whole Foods and farmers markets). Quesadillas, just plain cheese ones, are a nice side for this soup. Another nice post, Betsy.

  15. Nice combination. I’m not too familiar with the winter squash, never did use them,
    but seeing all the different varieties makes me want to learn more about them. Your
    soup looks quite delicious and quesadillas are perfect. Have a great weekend.

  16. I haven’t met a squash soup I didn’t love. Those varieties sound delicious and perfect for this type of dish. And a cheesy quesadilla on the side… yum!

  17. I put squash in ours too! we had some left from our CSA box :)

  18. Your squash version of this soup sounds delicious. My husband loves winter squash and I don’t cook it often enough for him, so perhaps I should make him this soup! I make quesadillas all the time – it is a staple in my daughter’s lunch box.

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