Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays With Dorie - Spiced Squash, Fennel and Apple-Pear Soup

Friday, November 11, 2011

French Fridays With Dorie - Spiced Squash, Fennel and Apple-Pear Soup

Soup is cuisine's kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o'clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.
~ Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’

I've been really atrocious at catching up on everyone else's blogs this past fortnight or so and therefore am surprised (and majorly touched) that people still do come over and leave comments on mine. To all those kind souls who have visited this site and taken the time to let me know you were here, a very big thank you. And apologies that I have been a rude hostess and not acknowledged your visits until now. When I'm mentally "back in the zone", I'll make an effort to come around to yours and give you a big, massive hug :-). 


Until then, you can take some comfort in this soup I made specially for French Fridays with Dorie - Spiced Squash, Fennel and Apple-Pear Soup. It contained everything listed in the title, plus more...and it this case, 'plus more' meant slight improvisations on the original ingredients. For the squash, Dorie recommended we use the Long Island Cheese Squash but I wasn't quite sure whether we could get that variety over here. So I went down to my mom's farm to pick a Kabocha squash to use in this recipe instead.    


Another ingredient I didn't have was fresh fennel, but I had tons of fennel seeds in my spice cupboard so I simply assumed they were interchangeable? Anyway, for the spices part of the recipe, I ground the fennel and cumin seeds together in a grinder and sieved the resulting powder to eliminate any chunky bits. The ginger, nutmeg and black pepper were freshly grated/ground in order to extract their strongest aroma. 


At the time of making this, I didn't have any regular green pears but what I did have was a sole Asian (or Chinese) pear in the fridge that knew it was somehow destined to be part of this soup. A red apple was also tossed in there to keep the pear company, as was a carrot because I had this theory that: 1. it (ie. the carrot) would add a lovely orange hue to the yellowish squash soup and 2. it would make up for the lack of mass due to using fennel seeds instead of the bulb. Of course, the whole theory bombed, as you may already have gathered.

Hearty goodness in 6 easy steps

By the way, ever notice how  I like to list my points down in numerical form just to make things clear (in my head more than anything else)? It's an annoying, slap-worthy habit but I can't always stop myself from running off all these lists in my head...and yes, they invariably come out while I'm typing up my posts ;).

Garnish - the spring onion strips curled up when immersed in iced water


After blending, I found the soup to be the exact texture and consistency I wanted it to be. Not too thick nor too thin, which was absolutely lucky on my part, I suppose. The murky beige color was slightly off-putting though, probably the result of mixing the greens with orange-yellow squash, and not forgetting purple from the big onion!. Nevertheless, when the first spoonful entered my mouth... I found the euphony of flavors to be very pleasant and so comforting that my lips involuntarily turned upright into a big grin :-).

Singapore Airlines must be missing a soup spoon right now.

My online cooking group or Doristas will be rustling up their own variations of this squash soup, so if you would like to hop over here, you can have a look at theirs.

Have a gorgeous weekend!



pumpkin

35 comments:

Ei said...

You always present your meals so beautifully! Love the slice of lime, and I love the adorable onions with their swirling skirts. Glad you enjoyed this soup!

Trix said...

Well, Poppa isn't a huge apple or pear fan so I skipped this one (he'll eat most anything but I thought I wouldn't torment him this once!) So I will save this for a night home alone or something, because it does look nice (especially the way you present it!) xoxo

Working london mummy said...

gorgeous! and what pretty garnish. lovely pics as always x

Tina said...

This is a good read, you have done an excellent job of explaining the process, right down to the garnish! Glad you were pleased with this recipe, your pictures are very tempting. This does look like a wonderful mix of flavors. Ha-we will not tell Singapore Airlines about the spoon!

Cher said...

Huge smile :-)
Love the green onion garnish. Some how you found a way to make the funky colored soup pretty in spite of itself.
Have a super weekend!

Dzoli said...

Wow .This would be the soup fit for the king.We thank you:)

'Le ricette dell'Amore Vero' di Claudia Annie said...

che meraviglia, questa super vellutata! delicata e golosa! complimenti, un bacio :)

Jennifurla said...

What gorgeous color, love it.

Sandra said...

Beautiful, Maya!!! Your presentation is stunning and I wish for that bowl of comfort right now!!!:)

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Ann said...

Stunning - as always! I'm constantly surprised when you mention your mothers farm! It just delights me every time! I think your post on the pictures of her farm and bounty was one of my favorites!

Christy said...

What a perfect combination for a soup!:)
I am loving the sound of it, just so comforting and delicious ;)

oneexpatslife said...

What a lovely quote to open your post. I agree wholeheartedly. And what a lovely soup, I find that soup in general is a little difficult to photograph but you did such a nice job. Love your little green onion curls.

Carolyn said...

What a gorgeous soup! Looks like it has so much flavour. And I love the little spring onion garnishes.

yummychunklet said...

Of course you would make a horrible sounding recipe (to me anyway) look completely delicious and wonderful! Great post!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I love your spring onion garnish :) And LOL re the spoon - we have - ahem - a little collection of airline spoons too!

Kathy said...

As always a gorgeous presentation. Your soup looks luscious! Happy weekend!

SoupAddict said...

I think your soup looks lovely, and adore the tip about the green onion garnish - so cute!

Aarthi said...

WOW..This looks awesome..Yummy

Do visit my blog too
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

createwithmom said...

looks wonderful Maya lovely presentation

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Oh what a great fall soup and love the garnish. Ah hug back.

DessertByCandy said...

Awww too bad about the beige colour but a big thank you for your tips on making scallion blossoms! The taste of kabocha must be so delicious for this soup. I'm saving them for eating plain and used good old butternut for the soup.

Spicie Foodie said...

Hi Maya, No need for apologies because you know we all love you and stop by to let you know. You take care of yourself first and promise we'll all still be here :) Now this soup I want! I've never had apples or pears in a soup but I'm so curious to try. It looks so pretty and love all the ornamental touches.

Not that you asked but when I have a problem with colors in food I add a little turmeric or paprika to adjust the color without changing the taste too much.
Anywho, have a relaxing weekend & sending you huge hugs :)

Lizzy said...

Fabulous!!! I love your curly garnishes...and all your twists that make this soup both a Maya AND Dorie dish!

PS...I'm having trouble keeping up with commenting, so I'm glad you popped over to my blog today. I've missed visiting you~

Vicki Bensinger said...

I have been so busy as well that I'm having trouble keeping up with everyone else's posts as too.

Plus I haven't done one of Dorie's recipes in so long. I even told Lizzy I was going to start up with them again and here I missed another one. This soup sounds like something I'd love. I guess I'll have to make it when I have more time.

Beautiful photos. Try to have a restful weekend!

Cakelaw said...

What a great quote at the top of this post. Love your garnish and your lovely red and white bowl. I enjoyed this soup.

Reem | Simply Reem said...

This soup looks delicious....
I love the way you present your food, Beautiful!!!!
B/W singapore airlines must be missing 2 spoons, I got the other one BY MISTAKE... LOL....

the [sugar] apothecary said...

MMMMM! I'm so happy it's soup season... Everything about this sounds SO delicious, down to the improvised pear and those cute little spring onions! And that lovely Singapore airline spoon, of course :)

I don't know what's up with me this past few weeks, I feel like I've been MIA too! I think this is the first time I've had to sit down and peruse everyone's recent cooking (thanksfully, it's been a slow day at work).

Lilly said...

I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one being busy with other things =)
And again...you are so luck with your mom's yard. Anything you need she has it.
I love your little spring onion palm trees hihhhihi

PS: Singapore airlines called...they want their spoon back =))

Foodiva said...

Haha....I think it's so cute that you guys have commented on that Singapore Airlines spoon! As you can see, it no longer shines so it's a rather old spoon. It was a long time ago (well before 9.11 when metal cutlery on planes were de rigeur) that it must've dropped accidentally into my bag...:-).

Betsy said...

I love the soup quote at the top of the post too. Your soup looks lovely, especially with the scallion flowers. So lovely, like everything you do. Hope life calms down for you soon, but in the meantime, thanks for continuing to tempt us with your beautiful cooking.

Elaine said...

Gorgeous photos! Your kabocha squash looks so pretty and I just love those onion garnishes!

Beth Michelle said...

I love the sound of this soup. So delicious. Your photos are so beautiful!

Jora said...

I love the quote about soup that started your post. Your photos are great - I especially liked the green onion garnish. Glad you enjoyed the soup!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I love the presentation of this soup! I make the green onion curl up the same way, but I always just make them thin strips. Not like this pretty flower style! I learned great tricks today! Great squash soup with apple and pears... yummy!

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