Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ruth Reichl's "Perfect Fall Soup" (Orange Squash & Veggies) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays + 5 Favorite Orange Squash Recipes

We had some rainy days and slightly cooler weather going into this weekend which definitely makes me think about fall. Ruth Reichl's Perfect Fall Soup with its golden color and slightly sweet flavors also brings fall to mind. 

I made a couple of changes--mainly changing the butternut squash for kabocha squash which is plentiful here and I also really love the bright color and slightly sweeter flavor. I also pumped up the savory side with a bit of non-chicken soup base and a dash of Aleppo pepper. Ruth tops her soup with apple, olive oil and balsamic. I kept the crisp apple but added some salty feta and chopped chives. My changes are in red below.

Ruth says, "This is, to me, the perfect soup for this time of year.  It’s about the easiest soup I know, one that transforms a handful of simple ingredients into something, soft thick, almost creamy.  It’s deliciously soothing.  The color is gorgeous, it’s inexpensive – and also vegan."

Perfect Fall Soup (Squash Soup)
Slightly Adapted from
(Serves 4)

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb peeled butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch dice (I used kabocha squash) 
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
2 1/2 cups boiling water (I added 1 Tbsp vegan non-chicken soup base)
(I added a pinch of Aleppo pepper) 
Garnishes: diced Granny Smith or other crisp apple, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. (See below)
Put onion, carrots, celery and olive oil into a large casserole and cook for about ten minutes, until they become soft.

Add squash, potatoes, and salt. Stir in boiling water, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for about half an hour, until the squash and potatoes are very soft.

Puree, in batches, in a blender.  Be cautious; hot soup can be dangerous.

Taste for seasoning. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and/or balsamic, and the diced apple. (I used chopped Granny Smith apple, crumbled feta and chives.)

Notes/Results: I have a tendency to think of squash soup as baby food, but this one has lots of good flavor and the toppings add another dimension to the smooth puree. I really liked it and happily chowed down on a bowl and an extra ladelful for lunch.  Leave off the feta for a vegan soup and change up the toppings and extras as you see fit. Now, if I could could make it about 10 degrees cooler, my fall dreams would be complete. I'd make this one again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week is our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Orange Squash. We can pick any recipe featuring orange sqush or pumpkins from any of our IHCC Chefs.

Speaking of IHCC Orange Squash dishes, here are five of my favorites from a few of our past featured IHCC chefs:

 Tessa Kiros's Penne con la Zucca, or Penne with Pumpkin:

Donna Hay's Pumpkin (Kabocha) and Chickpea Curry: 

Ottolenghi's Parmesan & Herb Crusted Kabocha with Yogurt: 

Ina's Butternut Squash Risotto: (From my early blogging days--excuse the photo!)

Donna Hay's Sesame and Soy Butternut Bites:

Now, lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:

My friend Kim of Stirring the Pot shared Ruth Reichl's Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves and said, "The nuttiness of Parmesan is wonderfully paired alongside walnuts. Then the Parmesan and the walnuts are coated with a light touch of mayo, lemon juice, and olive oil, as well as finely diced celery and parsley. You've got a bit of everything as far as texture and flavor go. It's chewy and crunchy and bright and flavorful. The slight bitterness of the endive leaves makes it the perfect vehicle for the nutty sweetness of the Parmesan and walnuts."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen brought Black Chickpeas Salad with Coriander and said, "The feta here is optional, I used it as that is what I had in the fridge, but you could substitute it with halloumi cheese or if your going for a vegan or dairy free option, perhaps smoked tofu. I think you need a soft texture with the nutty black chickpeas and the fragrant herb brings it all together. ... What I like about this salad too, it that it is quite seasonal in colours - going all autumnal, but also a perfect salad to knock up for a Halloween feast if you are planning a vegan or vegetarian Black Food Menu."

Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog shared Roasted Chestnut Mushroom Soup and said, "Looking for something a little different for the holidays? Chestnuts are in season, and they make a rich tasting holiday soup! It's definitely something unique that will delight your family and friends. I plan to make it for Thanksgiving! ... Chestnuts taste creamy and a little on the sweet side - kind of like a mild sweet potato. Most people have probably never tasted a chestnut."

Mahalo to all who joined in this week!
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. It is definitely fall weather in Philadelphia- Today we went down to 45 degrees! We were delighted to eat soup. Butternut squash is plentiful right now so I might consider your soup- I love your topping.

  2. That is a favorite soup in our house. Thanks for your kind thoughts about the storm and evacuation. I hope to be back to normal blogging soon!

  3. Your squash soup is calling my name. Thanks for hosting as always and also thanks for sharing the five orange squash recipes, I am intrigued by the donna hay recipe.

  4. I brought a grilled burger this week. Working on soup for next week :-)

  5. I am joining up with I Heart this week! I have made two different pumpkin soups this week and have another one planned. Tis the season!

  6. I am going to make this soup this weekend. I hope I enjoy it too.

  7. I often find squash soup to be bland, but I bet the apples really help.


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