You know what’s great about buying organic produce? The ability to save the seeds and know that they are going to grow. Especially when buying varieties that might not be commonly grown in your area and the seed is not as available.
Recently I picked up an organic Red Kuri Squash at our local Whole Foods. In France, Red Kuri Squash is is called potimarron – poti for pumpkin (potiron) and Marron for chestnut. When cooked, Red Kuri Squash tastes like a pleasant combination of the two. What’s especially neat about the Red Kuri Squash is that the skin is edible. No having to roast the squash first then spoon out it’s inner from it’s shell, no having to meticulously peel thick skin (I’m talking to you, butternut squash) with Red Kuri Squash you simply split it down the middle, remove the seeds (SAVE THEM!!) chop up the squash and throw it in your pot. Really, it’s that simple.
Which is why you are going to want more of them, thus you should save the seeds and grow some next year!
Okay, getting off my seed-saving soapbox. . . . Dorie Greenspan is one of my, hands down, favorite cookbook authors. Her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, is one of my favorite baking books. I make her lemon yogurt pound cake for birthdays, her perfect party cake and am constantly trying out her quickbreads and muffins and cookies. My lemon poppy seed scones are inspired by her! Two year’s ago for Christmas my husband bought me her newest cookbook, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, and it has since become one of my favorite autumn and winter time cookbooks. I refer to it frequently and love so many of the recipes. One of our favorite, simple recipes is Beatrix’s Red Kuri Soup. I’m excited to share it with you today . . .
Red Kuri Soup
from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
- 1 Red Kuri squash (about 3 pounds)*
- 3 slender or 1-1/2 larger leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, washed and cut into 1-inch long pieces
- 3 cups whole milk, or as needed (I’ve also tried this with coconut milk and it’s fantastic for a dairy-free, vegan alternative!)
- 3 cups water, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 Tart apple, peeled, cored and cut into tiny dice
- About 1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
- About 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
Scrub the squash under running water, using a brush if necessary to scrape off any dirt. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the pointy tip of the squash, then cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds (dry them! Save them and plant them in the spring!) and the strings that bind them, then cut the squash into 1-to-2 inch chunks, skin and all. Toss the squash into a large Dutch oven or soup pot.
Add the leeks to the pot, then add the milk and water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the squash is soft enough to mash when pressed lightly with the back of a spoon.
Using a blender or a food processor, puree the soup, in batches if necessary, until it is very smooth, or use an immersion blender. Depending on how much liquid boiled away, you may have a thick soup and a decision to make; leave it thick or thin it to whatever consistency pleases you with more milk or more water. Taste for salt and season with pepper and nutmeg.
Spoon the apple and nuts into the soup bowls, if using, ladle in the soup and garnish with cream, if you like.
*If you want to make this soup but can’t find Red Kuri Squash, you can use peeled, seeded butternut squash plus 7 ounces chestnuts