This burnished-orange soup has a silken texture and a beautiful sheen, thanks to the
addition of oatmeal-a terrific short-cut technique for creating quick body and
creaminess. Chopping the squash and celery very finely in the food processor
dramatically reduces cooking time without forsaking full-bodied taste. Be sure to
include the chive (or scallion) garnish, which adds dramatic visual and flavor
contrast. If you like, stir in a tablespoon of basil or rosemary olive oil at the end for an
additional flavor dimension.
Using the food processor, finely chop the squash in several batches. (You should
have about 5 cups.) Transfer to a large bowl. Finely chop the celery. Set aside with
In a large soup pot, heat the 2 tbsp. of water and sauté the leeks for 1 minute. Add
the water and stock powder and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the squash,
celery, oats, Herbes de Provence, and salt and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to
medium, cover, and cook at a gentle boil until the squash is very soft, about 15
Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or cool slightly, then transfer in small
batches to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth).
Stir in enough vinegar to heighten the flavors. Add a bit more salt if needed, and
reheat if necessary. Garnish with the chives.