Well, it is a pumpkin time. It is a winter squash time. I love them all – sugar or pie pumpkins, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, delicate, cabocha, calabaza, hubard… Roasted pumpkins, stews with pumpkin, stuffed pumpkins, salads, soups, pilafs, pumpkin pie, jam, relish…
For many years, I am adding pumpkins to such traditional Ukrainian and Russian soups as borscht and shchi (a Russian cabbage soup). And a couple years ago I made a well-known homey pea soup with a winter squash. Orange spackles of a pumpkin had brighten the soup creating more complex taste and making it healthier. This soup is still our old friend – a warming autumn and winter pleasure, but with a new twist.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until slightly golden.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add smoked ribs or hocks, peas, spices and herbs; pour water (about 2 ½ qt). Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the ham cubes, butternut, carrots, potato, and celery. Bring to a boil reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Let the soup stand – the longer the better.
You can use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water. If using stock, omit ground coriander and fennel.
Remember that smoked meat can be very salty, so adjust the salt amount in the soup accordingly.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!