Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mystery squash

I grew squash this year.

I wasn't going to, because it's an "off-year" for my squash. I have problems with Squash Vine Borer, and once you've got it, you can't plant again for two years or you WILL have it again.

Well, I've got it again, but I swear it wasn't my fault. The squash just appeared. In my compost pile. I have no idea what kind of squash this was--most of the time when you try to save squash seeds, you end up with these weird hybrids, because it cross pollinates so easily.

This one turned out to be not just a squash hybrid, but as far as I can determine, a summer-winter hybrid, which I though was not supposed to happen, because they aren't the same family. But it had the color and skin of a yellow summer squash, the leaves of a winter squash, the flavor of a mild butternut, and the shape of a Muscade pumpkin.

The first and last of which I did not grow last year.

I managed one large fruit, about 3 pounds, before the SVB killed the plant.

Summer soup
3 cups summer squash, roasted, skinned and cubed
1 pound apricots, peeled
1 large onion
4 T butter

3 cups water
leaves of 2-3 leeks, 2 large sprigs each mint and parsley
1/2 T green peppercorns
2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspooon baking soda

Make this in a gallon pot, so it doesn't overflow. To roast the squash-- quarter, scoop out the seeds, and place meat-side down on a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, or lightly oiled. Carmelize the onions in 2T of butter. Set aside. In the same pot, melt the remaining butter then add the apricots (if anyone knows how to peel apricots, let me know, because I don't think I'm doing it right). Stirring constantly, render the moisture out of the apricots, then turn down the heat and add the squash. Simmer until it releases moisture. Add the hot stock and simmer until one cup of liquid has boiled away (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Using an immersible blender, blend it to a smooth texture. Add the baking soda, which will mitigate the acid. Stand RIGHT THERE and keep stirring, because it will foam up.

When it has settled back down, add the onions back in and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with fresh baking-soda biscuits.

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