The Great (Green) Pumpkin (Squash)
A few days ago I wrote about cute little grape kiwis, and said that everyone likes to eat something if it’s extra mini. Now, only two days later, I’m going to entice you with something big. I’ve been seeing super huge squash around, and I knew immediately that I needed to add them to my weird food addiction…I mean, food freak show…or whatever. My blog.
Well, they weren’t that super huge. Damn, do you think when they grow those things the pumpkin patch sucks the whole county dry? The squash I’ve been seeing are big enough, though. But go big or go home, I always say, unless I’m talking grape kiwis or kumquats, in which case I change my tune faster than Mitt Romney.
Anyway, these are the green giants I wanted…
…but what was I going to do with so much squash, throw a squash party? Sounds weird, but you know you’d still come if I promised an open bar. I didn’t have to entice guests with booze this time, though, because I was happy to find that my local fruit market sold hunks of the great green pumpkins, which actually turned out to be “Zapallo Macre,” (I’m pretty sure, anyway) for the bargain basement price of only $1.99 per chunk. Even this amount was so big that my son agreed to struggle with it in exchange for the fame and fortune my blog brings, but doing so nearly took him down.
I say I’m pretty sure my squash was Zapallo Macre, a squash popular in Peru that looks like a green pumpkin, but my usual identification expert – Monsieur Google – came up short this time, other than providing a few Peruvian photos of the Zap Mac that looked similar to my squash. I think the big greeners must be local because they suddenly showed up alongside pumpkins at many fruit stands and not solely at specialty importer-type markets, but there weren’t any promising results for “green pumpkins Ontario,” or “green squash,” that proved this true. If anyone has further info, let me know.
No matter what they were, I was feeling chilled yesterday so I decided to make my pumpkin slash squash into soup. Here comes the ONLY recipe for giant green Ontario Zapallos currently available on the World Wide Web (hush the crowds, please), which I invented:
Giant Green Pumpkin Soup with Savoury Sweet Sprinkles (serves 8)
- Giant green pumpkin/squash (probably Zapallo Macre), peeled and cut into 1.5” chunks. Approximately 14 cups, or filling 2 cookie sheets. Substitute butternut squash or pumpkin if you can’t find the big greens
- 1 very large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1/4C sherry
- 1.5” fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 900mL veggie stock
- Sprinkles: walnuts, green pumpkin seeds, and Craisins
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Toss squash with olive oil and kosher salt, and spread across two cookie sheets prepared with foil. Roast squash 45 minutes, stirring once. Meanwhile, sautee onions and garlic in a large pot until translucent, about three minutes. Add sherry and continue to cook until it nearly disappears.
Add squash, ginger, parsley, and stock, bringing to a boil. Add to food processor in batches, pureeing the soup. Now. If you prefer a very smooth, comforting soup, you’re finished. If not, pour into bowls and sprinkle with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and Craisins. If you’re not vegan, you may wish to experiment with bacon, sour cream, or parmesan cheese.
Results: Very good! I didn’t taste anything special about the green squash – would love to taste it alongside a butternut to see if I could tell the difference, but I don’t think I would be able to. If you want a very healthy, vegan soup that will feed umpteen people for a very low price, this is your recipe. Love a dish that I know I could eat a whole pot of and it would still be improving my health rather than adding to my waistline. Rating: 4 Yums