We had a bonanza crop of pumpkins and heirloom squashes in 2020, and months later we’re using up the last of whatever we had leftover from the farm stand. One of those funky winter squashes is a Jarrahdale, with pale bluish-green skin and vibrant orange flesh.

There’s plenty leftover squash from roasting the whole thing a couple of days ago, and homemade chicken stock in the freezer. With the icy winds of February howling outside, its seems the perfect time to whip up this hearty and nutritious pot of gourd.

The icing on the cake is the sage pesto, which brings the whole thing together with its nutty green swirls. This squash soup would be amazing in the fall, right out of the garden, but no less so in mid-winter.

Winter Squash Soup with Sage Pesto

Ingredients

  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 6 c winter squash, cooked & chopped up
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tart apple
  • 2 T butter, ghee, or olive oil
  • salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 c fresh sage leaves, packed then chopped
  • 1 c fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c toasted walnuts
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 t fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • FOR THE SOUP: Pour the stock into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add to the stock the cooked squash and bay leaf with a generous sprinkle of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix and cook at a low simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, peel and chop the apple and set it aside, then make the sage pesto (see below).
  • Once 20 minutes are up, add the apple to the soup and simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
  • Remove the soup from the heat, fish out the bay leaf, add the butter, ghee, or olive oil, and carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender until very smooth (or blender or food processor, carefully). You can thicken or thin the soup by putting back on a low heat, then either simmer to reduce it a little, or add more chicken stock.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with the pistachio gremolata, below.
  • FOR THE PESTO: Pound the sage, parsley, walnuts, garlic, salt, and lemon zest with a mortar and pestle (or use a food processor) until a paste is almost formed but some larger pieces of walnut still remain.
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in the olive oil. Then stir in the grated Parmesan. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, and/or oil if desired.
  • Spoon some sage pesto on top of each bowl of soup to serve, lightly dragging a toothpick or spoon tip through to make pretty swirls in the soup.
  • Store any extra pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator with a layer of olive oil poured on top. Use within a couple of days for best flavor and color.