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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Squash Soup with Swiss Chard Stuffed Onions

Cool fall weather just screams for soup - and squash is a classic choice. Sometimes soup doesn't feel like it's a full meal so I wanted to add a little something to it. These stuffed onions make use of lots of the fall vegetables and give the soup a little life.

The hardest part of this is creating the onion bowl, but if you look close at the photos, there is a slit in one side of them. After cleaning the onion, slice off the ends and make one small slice starting at the top through to bottom, from the middle of the onion out. Then peel the layers apart; this will form a big ring or bowl with a hole in the bottom. Lay a piece of the Swiss chard inside the bottom of the onions to form a loose bottom.

This sounds like a lot of work, but it comes together pretty easily. Make it a day ahead of time through stuffing the onions and hold in the fridge. Then place the whole thing in the oven (I suggest letting it come to room temperature first) and continue from there. You'll have a fat and happy fall dinner in no time!

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: If you are eating dairy, feel free to add a little drizzle of cream to the soup when blending it for a richer flavor.

Squash Soup with Swiss Chard Stuffed Onions

1 large white or yellow onion
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 Tbls olive oil
1/2 cup celery +1  stalk
1 garlic clove
1 large squash
1 diced apple
6 large Swiss chard leaves
1 Tbls fresh thyme + a few stems
1 Tbls balsamic vinegar
1 ounce goat cheese (optional)
2-3  cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
Salt, seasoning salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean the onion, cut off the ends and cut one slice through all the layers, be sure to only cut half into the onion. Carefully peel each layer off, they will look like large open rings (you should get about 5 or 6 rings). Set each onion ring in a baking dish. Tear a piece of the Swiss chard and place inside each ring to form a makeshift bottom. Slice up the remaining Swish Chard into 2 inch pieces.

Peel the squash, cut up part of the squash into 2 cups of small diced pieces, and the remaining into larger pieces. Arrange these large squash pieces around the onions in the baking dish, this will help keep the onions hold their shape. Dice up the apple, reserve 1/2 cup for the stuffing and place the remaining in the pan with the squash. Cut the 1 stalk of celery and the garlic clove and add to the pan. There will be a middle portion of the onion that is too small to make rings out of - dice that up and add to the pan as well. Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat add the olive oil, the diced red onion, celery and squash, cook for about 5 minutes tossing often. Add in 1/4 cup stock, the apple, sliced Swiss chard, fresh thyme and a good pinch of seasoning salt and pepper. Cook just a few mintues until the leaves begin to wilt and the squash is fork tender. Remove from heat and add in the vinegar and goat cheese.

Spoon the stuffing into the onion rings carefully so they hold their shape. Fill the pan with stock, add a couple of thyme stems and a good pinch of salt and pepper over the top, then cover the whole thing with tin foil and place in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, remove the tinfoil and continue to cook for another 15 minutes; double check to ensure the large squash pieces are fork tender. Remove from the oven.

Using a spatula, carefully remove the stuffed onions from the baking pan, set on a platter. Scoop the squash into a blender or food processor along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding in the stock as needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

To serve, place one stuffed onion in the middle of a shallow bowl and add a scoop of the squash soup around it and a little crumble of goat cheese (if using.) Add a jalapeno bread to serve with it.

1 comment:

  1. Cool! As an onion-lover, I think a stuffed onion island in my soup is a brilliant idea. My husband the onion-hater might object : (



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