recipe: ontario harvest soup

I am proud of this recipe – everything in it is local, organic, and truly “cooking with the seasons.” It is also truly a Canadian recipe, as the flavours are very reminiscent of the famous French Canadian Pea Soup.Any mid-west or “bread basket” town in North America, as well as parts of the UK and France should be able to find the main ingredients in season during the fall harvest.

Pictures to be posted after I repair my camera, which fell off the counter while making this dish :(

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squash, each about 500g
  • 8 small potatoes – new, gold or red potatoes preferred, each no bigger than 100g, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 2 local apples – peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped into 1cm wide discs
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium chunk ginger, peeled and shredded, fibrous material removed
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil, cooking grade
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 2-4 tbsp, maple syrup
  • sea salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Two or three strips bacon.

Directions

Halve squash and remove seeds. Place in baking dish; cover flesh in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast in an oven at 350°F for 45 minutes, until flesh is soft. Remove the squash and scrape the flesh from the skin. Reserve.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes until cooked.

At the same time, In a large heavy skillet, sautee the leeks and 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat until aromas are released. As the leeks caramelize, add the garlic and ginger. When the garlic and ginger have combined into the leeks, add the apples and 1 Tbsp of the maple syrup. Sautee until well blended.

Drain the potatoes. Add the sauteed vegetables and the squash flesh to the potatoes, then season with cardamom, the remainder of the maple syrup, white pepper and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to blend most of the ingredients, leaving some chunks of potato.

Fry a fresh strip or three of bacon and crumble. Garnish with cilantro and the crumbled bacon bits. Serve immediately.

Will freeze and keep in the refrigerator for days.

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