Winter has definitely arrived in San Francisco. I conclude this not from any sudden changes in weather, but from the millions of holiday sale signs and the constant barrage of holiday jingles everywhere you go. My conclusion is also supported by the appearance of winter veggies in our farm box – winter squashes, sweet potatoes, leeks, etc. What? No kale?? That’s right – no kale yet! This makes me sad (I’ve been wanting to make a big pot of caldo verde for a while now) but probably makes numerous other subscribers happy.

In any case, with my kale soup visions as yet unrealized, I have to resort to other soup options. Roasted butternut squash soup is always a popular item, but since we haven’t received any butternut squashes, I figured any winter squash should work (I was right). The squash we got was a ‘delicata’ squash (also called sweet potato squash), which is pretty much like a pumpkin but sweeter and creamier. A quick roast in the oven, toss in plenty of ginger and spices, and you’ve got a soup that’ll warm you right up – perfect for those cold and foggy winter nights when one’s stuck at home working on one’s thesis (and by ‘one’, I really mean Nathan).

1 medium winter squash (I used a delicata squash courtesy of our CSA)
2 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 in piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
dash of chili powder
1/4 cup of milk
handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
queso fresco to garnish (optional)

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds (you can reserve these for toasting if you want). Rub squash lightly with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Roast in a 350F oven until tender. Cool slightly, then scoop out meat and set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan (big enough to hold all the finished soup) over medium-high heat. Add in garlic, ginger, and onion and saute for a few minutes until onion is tender, stirring constantly to keep garlic from burning.

Add in the spices (curry, cumin, chili) and stir to coat the onion mixture. Saute another minute or so until fragrant.

Add in squash puree and 1.5 cups of the chicken stock and heat until simmering. Then, remove from heat and puree carefully using an immersion blender. If the soup is too thick, add in more stock or water, if you’re out of stock. Heat again over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Right before serving, turn off heat and stir in milk to add a touch of creaminess.

Garnish with cilantro and queso fresco and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

(Makes about 2 servings)