This past weekend on Instagram, we hinted at a recipe coming to the blog soon. Finally, I am getting a chance to sit down and actually write it out. This isn’t so much a “recipe” as it is an idea. I don’t usually measure when I cook, instead going with the “I can always add more” method of adding small amounts at a time until I hit the right flavor combo. This one is no different. This time of year is perfect for making squash soup, and pairing that with apples and pork seemed so obvious. Feel free to change it up as you see fit!
This recipe does need things like a smoker, dutch oven, and immersion blender. The latter two can be substituted, but you can’t really smoke squash in any other way.
-1lb ground pasture raised pork (can be substituted with lamb, chicken, turkey, or a comparable amount of lentils or Textured Vegetable Protein, or can be omitted completely)
-some butternut squashes (we used three that were slightly on the smaller side)
-a couple tbsp cooking oil (if needed)
-1 onion, diced
-some cloves of garlic
-a couple carrots
-a couple tart-sweet apples, or whatever you have
-chicken or vegetable broth
-salt and pepper
And now, for how to make it:
-Pre-heat your electric smoker to 225F. Follow your smoker’s instructions to add water, and use apple or peach wood for flavor.
-Peel, seed, and chop your butternut squash. Throw them in a baking pan that fits into your smoker. Set this aside
-Brown your ground meat of choice in a dutch oven. Remove the meat and set aside. Pour most of the fat out on top of the cubed squash.
-Toss squash to coat. Add a little cooking oil if needed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in smoker with some apple, peach, or other milder tasting wood for around 2 hours. It should look something like this when it’s done. You want it to be softened slightly, but not completely falling apart.
-While the squash is in the smoker, add the chopped onion to the pot and brown slightly. This will probably take a little longer than you think. Maybe like 20 minutes? But you have a couple hours to wait for the squash to be done anyway.
-Peel and chop up the carrots and add them into the pot with the slightly browned onions. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic as well. Let the veggies hang out on medium heat for a bit, stirring once in a while.
-Once the squash is finished, dump it, and any juices in the bottom of the pan, into the dutch oven. Add broth to cover everything. Chop up a couple apples and toss in there as well.
-Once everything but the protein is in the pot, add some chili powder and paprika. And some salt and pepper to taste.
-Simmer for a while, until the squash, apples, and carrots are fork tender.
-Get out that immersion blender and get to blending! You want it to be nice and smooth. If it starts getting too thick, add more broth, or even just some water.
-Add your protein back into the pot, and heat through. Taste, and add more seasonings as you see fit.
We served ours with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a little dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. Would also be great with some fresh chopped chives on top. This refrigerates well, and reheats easily. It tastes like autumn, and goes well with so many other foods.
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