My mother-in-law Jean absolutely loves Blue Hubbard squash and for the last few summers, she and my father-in-law have been trying to grow this mammoth variety of squash in their garden!
This summer – the weather and growing conditions finally cooperated – and Jack’s parents finally grew a whopping 15-pound Blue Hubbard Squash which they then gave to us to cook! I have to admit – I’ve never cooked a Blue Hubbard squash before! But it can be used much in the same way as cooking a pumpkin.
Blue Hubbard squash have a very hard, bluish-gray outer skin that is a bit difficult to trim. But once you are able to get the outer skin off, the flesh inside is very tender and it cooks up quickly. The squash is somewhat naturally sweet – which helps to add a very unique and delicious flavor to this Blue Hubbard Squash and White Bean Soup.
Today’s soup recipe is a mix of seasoned and pureed Blue Hubbard squash combined with tender white beans and additional chunks of oven-roasted Blue Hubbard squash added for texture. It is flavored with wonderfully complementary ingredients including garlic, sage, nutmeg, brown sugar, Parmesan cheese and sherry.
This Blue Hubbard Squash and White Bean Soup recipe, which we adapted from a recipe found in the New England Soup Factory Cookbook, is unlike any soup I’ve had before! And I now understand why my mother-in-law loves Blue Hubbard squash so much!
I should caution you that this recipe makes a fairly large quantity – great if you have a very large Blue Hubbard squash growing in your own garden! But feel free to cut the recipe in half or freeze the leftovers to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter months.Print
Some tips on working with a Blue Hubbard squash: To prepare, cut the squash in half, place the cut side on the cutting board and using a very sharp knife, run it from top down and shave off sections of skin until it is down to the orange flesh. Then cut the cleaned half into slices and finally into ¾ -inch pieces. Pumpkin can be used in this recipe if you can’t find Blue Hubbard squash. They taste very similar and most people would really have a hard time tasting the difference. Just make sure you use cooking pumpkins and not the kind you would use to make a jack-o-lantern.
- 4 pounds Blue Hubbard squash or pumpkin (for 4 pounds of usable squash you should look to purchase about 6 pounds of skin-on squash since about one third of the weight will be skin)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, sliced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon dry sage
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup cream sherry
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 14.5-ounce cans rinsed cannellini beans, some reserved for garnish
- Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Dice the squash or pumpkin into ¾ inch pieces. Place six cups in a medium bowl and reserve the rest.
- Top the squash in the bowl with the oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Pour out onto a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Reserve for later.
- While squash is roasting, melt butter in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven and add garlic, onions, celery and carrots and sauté over medium high for five minutes. Add reserved raw squash and sauté for another five minutes.
- Add stock, sage, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce to a fast simmer and cook for 40 minutes, making sure it does not stick to the bottom while cooking.
- Remove from heat and add brown sugar, Parmesan cheese and sherry and with an emersion blender, puree until smooth. Alternatively puree in batches in a blender.
- Taste for salt and pepper and season if needed.
- Reserve some of the cannellini beans for garnish and place the rest into the pureed soup along with the roasted squash.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and top each bowl with a few cannellini beans, a few roasted pumpkin seeds and a little grated Parmesan cheese.
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