Winter Squash with Fried Sage Leaves

Squash

In Central Texas, most gardeners know and abhore the squash vine borer.  For some reason, it’s drawn to town plots with small plantings.  So, in these beginning days of summer, before the borers have had time to kill our plants, it’s important to savor and the sweetness of our lovely, albeit brief, squash season.

Try this recipe adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Winter Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

2 1/2 to 3 lbs winter squash

1/4 cup olive

6 cloves garlic

12 whole sage leaves, plus 2 tbls chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

1/4 c chopped parsley

2 quarts vegetable broth mixed with 10 cups water

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds (you can save these!).  Brush the surfaces with oil, stuff the cavities with garlic, and place them cut sides down on a baking sheet.  Bake until tender when pressed with a finger or fork, about 30 minutes.

– Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the 1/4 cup oil , then drop in the whole sage leaves and fry until they are speckled and dark, about 1 minute. Set the elaves aside on a paper towel and transfer the il to a wide soup pot.  Add onions, chopped sage, thyme, and parsley and cook over medium heat until the onions have begun to brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.  Scoop the squash flesh into the pot alond with any juices that accumulated in the pan.  Peel the garlic and add it to the pot along with 1 teaspoon salt and the water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.  Add water if necessary for desired thickness. Taste for salt.

-Puree soup and garnish with fried sage leaves.