Delicata, Pork and Rice Soup with Roasted Delicata Seeds


The 2 days have been blizzard conditions here in Buffalo, NY. No kidding, actual blizzard conditions. The town that I live in was declared to be in a state of emergency yesterday afternoon due to white out conditions and frigid temperatures. The temperature, with wind chill, got down to around -16 degrees F. The description given on weather.com for the weather yesterday and this morning was simply this: “Blizzard”. Yippee-horray! NOT. Well I guess on the plus side I got sent home from work early yesterday (yes that means I had a white-knuckle drive home in sideways snow with about 1 foot of visibility in-front of me but I made it without incident) and got to spend the afternoon with my co-worker (who lives next door) drinking our own concoction of Bailey’s/Grand Marnier/Kahlua-spiked coffee. Ahh. And I was off today so getting snowed in meant I could stay in my PJ’s all day and cuddle up to a movie with a warm bowl of this yummy soup I made with leftovers from my fridge!

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Actually after the morning hours passed things seemed to clear up a bit today. There was a lot of snow to be dealt with though so I took some pictures while we got things shoveled outside (and by we I mean, Troy shoveled and I took pictures, lol). So I guess I didn’t really stay in my PJ’s all day but I could have lol. In these pictures the wind had died down A LOT compared to yesterday, thank goodness.

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So this is a really easy soup and the ingredients can be easily swapped out for whatever you’ve got. This is a brothy soup with rice, pork (or chicken if you prefer), roasted squash and toasted squash seeds. Nom nom. I used leftover pre-cooked pork from the roast I made a few days ago, along with the reserved braising liquid from this roast as my broth (diluted with some water or it would taste like eating pure gravy just about!). You could use chicken of course, any leftover you have or pick up one of those cheap rotisserie ones at the grocery store to make this extra easy. Please choose a good quality broth if you don’t have roasting liquids on-hand, preferably homemade, since it will be providing much of the flavor in this pot. If you desire, bulk up the flavor of your broth by simmering a bunch of fresh thyme and/or rosemary with a few bay leaves while the broth simmers and the rice cooks, and remove them afterward. (Whenever you make a roast please save the cooking juices because they are wonderful in soup! They are uber-concentrated with flavor, so much that you may want to dilute them a bit as I stated above; you can do this to taste). The delicata squash can be replaced with whatever squash you desire (butternut would be great) or even cubed sweet potatoes in a pinch, but I like the added benefit of having freshly roasted squash seeds (which make an awesome garnish on the soup).

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***PRINTABLE RECIPE (DELICATA, PORK AND RICE SOUP PDF)***

Delicata, Pork and Rice Soup with Roasted Delicata Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 2 Delicata squash (~1 ½ lbs.) peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes (seeds cleaned and reserved)
  • 2 + 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 2 cups pre-cooked/leftover pork loin or roast (or chicken), cut into ½-inch cubes (or shredded)
  • ¾ cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced (about 2 tbsp.)
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups of good quality chicken broth (or 4 cups braising liquid from pork roast + 2 cups of water)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil
  • Place the squash cubes on one of the baking sheets, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt, pepper and ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Roast squash for approximately 30 minutes, or until browned at the edges and softened

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  • Toss squash seeds with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place on a second foil lined baking sheet

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  • Remove from oven and reserve. Turn oven down to 275 degrees F and roast the squash seeds for 15-20 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Reserve seeds
  • Meanwhile prepare the soup. In the bottom of a Dutch oven melt the butter over medium-high heat
  • Sauté onions in the butter for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or until fragrant. Season veggies with salt, pepper and sage.
  • Add white wine to the pan
  • Stir in the broth (or braising liquid and water)

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  • Stir in the rice and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender
  • Stir in the roasted Delicata and pork (or chicken)
  • Stir in the lemon juice, zest and green onions
  • Check for seasoning, adjust to taste
  • Serve with a sprinkle of the roasted squash seeds on top

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