I first saw a Hubbard squash at our farmers market two autumns ago. It's sheer enormity motivated my astonished question to the farmer, "What is that!?" "A Hubbard squash, it's sweet," was the reply. I thanked her for her answer but left without the Hubbard squash because 1. I wasn't sure I could carry that bad boy, 2. If I could carry it, I knew that I would never be able to cut into it without cutting off a finger, and 3. Even if I was able to cut into it without maiming myself, there was no way it was going to fit in my oven.
Our CSA box this week contained about a fifth of what had to be an enormous Hubbard squash placed in a plastic bag (Fortunately, our farmer, almost sensing my anxiety about the size of Hubbard squashes, had cut it for us. Thanks Alan). I had no idea what to do with it but knew I had to cook it quickly lest it mold. Two nights ago I placed it in the oven to roast slowly for an hour and a half and scooped out the meat with the intention of finding something to make with it. I happened upon this soup creation which was quite tasty. The cinnamon and the cumin pair beautifully together and really complimented the sweet flesh of the Hubbard. If you don't have access to a Hubbard squash, I'm sure you could substitute any number of the fabulous members of the cucurbita family on the market now. By the way, the latin name for Hubbard squash is cucurbita maxima. I find this a very fitting name for this giant.
Winter Squash and Pinto Bean Soup by Joie de vivre
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 cups cooked squash (if you are making this with raw squash, cut into small cubes and increase the cooking time so that the squash is fully cooked)
3 cups chicken broth
1 (15oz.) can of whole tomatoes with the juice, crushed
1 (15oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Saute the onion in the olive oil until slightly browned. Place the sauteed onion in the insert of a slow cooker. Add the cumin, salt, cinnamon, garlic, squash and chicken broth to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on Low heat for 3-4 hours. Puree soup until smooth with your hand blender. Add the crushed tomatoes and the pinto beans to the pureed soup and cook on High for 1 hour until heated through and bubbling.