Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Flavors Recipe: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Photo by Emily Clack
It is sad for me to admit, but summer is over:(  I love the fall, but I just wasn't ready yet.  I'm hoping that this soup will help pave the way.

Fall is here and it is butternut squash time. I learned how to make this soup in my cooking 101 class lady July and it was a little out of season at the time. Break out your stock pot and start making this delicious soup. Autumn is the perfect time to have a party and carve pumpkins and serve warm cider and soup.  You can find this fall recipe and many more in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

2 cups butternut squash: peeled, lg dice
1/2 cup carrot: peeled, lg dice
1/2 cup celery: lg dice
1/2 cup leeks: greens, rough chop
1/2 Granny Smith apple: peeled, lg dice
~2 tablespoons fresh ginger: sliced
~4 cloves of garlic: peeled, smashed
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup + 1/4 cup heavy cream
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chives: fine chop

Sweat the leeks in some butter and a pinch of salt in a pan on low heat. As they begin to soften (~5 minutes or so), then add celery. Sweat for another 5 minutes, then add carrots & butternut squash. Then add the apple. Continue to sweat and then add garlic. Then add slices of fresh ginger (You could use other forms of ginger if you didn’t have fresh on hand.) Add chicken stock (homemade is best) to barely cover the vegetables. Add a pinch of salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little cardamom. Cover the pan for 15 to 20 minutes and then remove the lid and continue to cook until 50% of the liquid is evaporated. Then add ½ cup of cream. Put the soup in a blender and blend on a high speed until it is completely smooth. Next pass it through a chinoise using a ladle (fine mesh strainer.) Warm the soup again and taste it. Adjust seasonings accordingly. You may want to add more salt at the end for flavor. Top with butter.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Add 1/4 cup of cream to 1/2 cup of sour cream— blend thoroughly. Season, if necessary — if you add pepper, keep it white pepper. Add to squeeze bottle (if you have one) and leave in fridge until serving.

Serve. Ladle the creamy soup into bowls, squirt topping into fun zig-zag shape, top with chives. You can also add some crunch by frying carrot peelings at 350 degrees or you could do the same with shitake mushrooms.

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