It’s no secret that my sister and I live on a budget. Dave Ramsey is something of an icon at our house. So, as I’ve mentioned before, each week we head to the farmer’s market with our $20 allowance for vegetables and fruit. Lately, we have been getting squash for $1/lb. All kinds of squash: zucchini, yellow squash, satellite squash, little Italian squash, you name it.
The other night, due to budgetary constraints, I was faced with a few onions, a few cloves of garlic, and squash. There was literally nothing else. (Ok, there was peanut butter and one can of chick peas. Not the most inspiring ingredients.) What to do, what to do? Sautéed squash all by itself didn’t seem like enough. Turning the oven on seemed like a waste of time and energy. Should we eat it raw? No thank you, too sad. So, with thoughts of the Great Depression and stone soup on my mind, I got out my biggest pot.
First, I chose a large onion from the bunch and chopped it up. Knowing that all good things start with an onion sweating in a pan, I threw them into the pot with a heaping tablespoon of olive oil. Next, a clove of garlic. Once the onions started to soften up, I threw in all the squash I had (about 2 lbs, chopped into manageable chunks). I cooked the squash with the onions and garlic for longer than I normally would when making soup. Since I didn’t have vegetable stock on hand, I didn’t want to have to boil too long with plain old water. So, I cooked the squash until it was nice and soft, letting everything get a tiny bit of brown color even. Finally, I poured in enough water to just cover the squash/onion mixture. I added salt and pepper, covered it all, and let it boil for about 10 minutes. I took it off the heat, and busted out the immersion blender. I added 2 tsp of dry thyme to give the soup some sort of point of view, and I finished it off with a little more olive oil (about a tablespoon) to make it smooth and creamy without the cream.
It was great. We ate every bit. Necessity is the mother of invention, as is poverty sometimes. It probably cost about 3 bucks to make, total. Thank god, because sometimes 3 bucks is all we have. I’d be willing to bet you could make soup out of anything this way. Water, onion, and a little ingenuity. Ah, Recession Soup, food for the starving wallet.
1 large onion, chopped
1-2lbs squash (any variety), chopped into medium chunks
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Water to cover
Olive oil to sauté and finish
2tsp dry thyme
Salt and pepper to taste