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I am looking to prepare a roasted squash soup base/stock. I plan on pairing the meal with a stout beer tasting. How do i go from roasted squash and asparagus to having a flavor dense but low volume soup base/broth/stock to pour over/mix with my onions on the initial sauté?

The primary concern here is that I am going to be making a vegan, chunky tomato-based soup, but i want most of the flavor to come from the vegetable stock. As such, I don't want to have much water content and will be adding things like celery and corn later on. even if the stock will come out as a gravy I am not worried much about consistency as the soup will cook for about four hours.

(*) I am not fixed on squash necessarily if a lower water volume vegetable might help I will consider that an answer as long as it is savory and on par with squash's eathiness and can be roasted for use in a soup stock

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Btw, it's for an autumn themed party if that spins any wheels for you –  mfg Sep 16 '10 at 13:53
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I wouldn't use asparagus if I were you. When it is long cooked it starts to get sulfurous and unpleasant. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 16 '10 at 17:45
    
@michael yeah, as i had gotten up into my head about it i came to realize the same, especially considering @Bob 's advice –  mfg Sep 16 '10 at 18:59
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your base probably needs to be a roasted squash puree, I don't think it will work well just being used to flavor a stock. Normally you would add cream to roasted squash to make a soup, but I guess that wouldn't be vegan. Butternut squash is tasty for this (and very autumn/winter), if you haven't actually picked out your ingredients yet.

If you want to add asparagus flavor, you should consider toasting/grilling the asparagus first. Applying a dry heat to asparagus when cooking it will bring out a very savory flavor (a nice addition to a vegan dish), but just boiling it in liquid will make it taste "grassy". It all depends on what flavor you want out of it, really. Asparagus is really a spring/summer ingredient though, if you're really wanting to be "seasonal" with this dish.

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Thanks, I am trying to keep the stock prep recipe agnostic though. I was thinking that a puree would probably be a good option; but is it flavor packed enough to season 6 quarts worth of soup? Rather, how much of it would I need to do so? Is there a way to condense it? –  mfg Sep 16 '10 at 15:26
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I found one recipe that uses 1 butternut squash and 6 cups of (chicken) stock, so 4 squash would probably be right for 6 quarts. Also, Martha's answer to add onions is a good idea. –  Bob Sep 16 '10 at 19:26
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My first thought was to add onions and maybe garlic -- roast them as well, and add them with the squash and asparagus. Mushrooms are also a good autumny vegetable, and they add lots of deep flavors.

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I think you are absolutely right about the mushrooms... perhaps I will try to create some kind of a marinade or other preparation of a meat substitute using some wilder mushrooms. –  mfg Oct 1 '10 at 12:03
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