Piece of life
I would teach you nothing new by saying that we are definitely in autumn, the trees have changed colour, and the yellow, orange and red leaves are everything we see. And, of course, we can’t stop thinking about Halloween, which is coming soon. And with Halloween comes squash season, and with squash come picking tours. And yes, our annual squash tour was inevitable [however, during this covid period, it was not a fast decision]. The day was beautiful, the kids had a blast in the fields, and we got bags full of squashes. In the last few years, I have been picking all kinds of squashes to test them, but I must admit that I was disappointed with some varieties. That is why I now choose my favourite ones: butternut [my favourite of the favourites], spaghetti [kids’ favourite], the potiron and the potimarron.
We also choose huge and “scary” pumpkins [in quotes, because I think these squashes are beautiful], like the Galeuse d’Eysines, but these are to decorate our balcony and house interior for Halloween. And the kids are eagerly waiting for our pumpkin decorating activities to begin.
Where to pick squashes?
As you know, I am French, but I have been living in Montreal for many years. Picking fruits and vegetables with family is more popular in Quebec than in France, but it is accessible in both countries. It all depends on your region, but I’m sure you can easily find fields and orchards that accept visitors for picking. Besides the pleasure of spending a day in nature, this allows you to get beautiful fresh products and often at the best prices.
In Montreal, we go to the “Centre d’interprétation de la courge”, in St Joseph du Lac. The fields are huge, and there is an impressive selection of squashes and different varieties. And if you are not in the mood to go to the fields, they have all their types available for sale at the entrance. And to excite your taste buds, don’t forget to visit the kiosk for some pumpkin chips and delicious soups, as well as a pumpkin beer for my husband (beer is not my thing).
On the Paris side, I inspired my brother, who went to “Les fermes de Gally.” They loved their experience and came back with full bags.
About the Potimarron Soup
Who doesn’t enjoy a good soup? [even more my kids…] Especially after a day outdoors and cold weather, it is the ultimate in comfort. The potimarron particularity is that we can eat its peel. It is thinner than other squashes, so if it is well-cooked, it can be eaten. In this way, we keep a maximum of vitamins and fibres. I suggest you try organic potimarron for this recipe. And the pear is our mystery ingredient that gives a soft sweet taste, yummy!
What if you can’t find potimarron? I also make this recipe with butternut, but peeling it [this one is not eaten], and I’m sure that any other variety of squash would be as good as well. Add a drizzle of cream for sweetness and some roasted squash seeds for some crunch, and you will get an easy and tasty recipe.
Potimarron Squash Soup (with peel)
- 1 kg potimarron, with peel (preferably organic)
- 1 pear (with peel) (preferably organic)
- 1 L water
- 1 onion
- 2 gloves garlic
- 1 drizzle oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- Roughly chop all ingredients (potimarron, pear, onions, garlic).
- In a pan, heat some oil. Saute the onion and the garlic for 1 to 2 min.
- Add the squash and pear pieces, then, the water. Add salt and pepper.
- Close the pan and cook it until the squash is tender (about 30 minutes with a pressure pot, longer otherwise).
- Once cooked, stir everything in a blender. Add water as needed (I like thick soups, but you can add more water depending on the texture you want).
- Serve with some cream and roasted pumpkin seeds, if you like.