Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe: Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy great food and friends. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner takes lots of planning and preparation. It is always wonderful when your friends pitch in and bring a dish. We created a menu paired with local pairing selections. Check out my friend Sarah's recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons.

The Recipe:

1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
8 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar 

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. 

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.) 

For croutons:
Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

The Pairings:
Flying Dog Brewery, UnderDog Atlantic Lager 
Originally brewed as a sessionable, yet hop-forward lager for Maryland’s hot and humid summers, UnderDog proves its all-season versatility when paired with this delicate winter soup.

2010 Three Vineyards Chardonnay from Tarara
Allagash Dubbel (7.0% ABV) When the temperature drops every fall- this is what I want to drink while everyone else is sipping on pumpkin and fest beers.  The dubbel is a bit different because it actually brewed with roasted malt.  Historically dubbels got their color from the use of Dark Belgian-candied syrup.  Allagash dubbel brings chocolate and nuts to mind. And drinkers will enjoy lovely notes of figs and spice from the Belgian yeast strain.  Squash soup traditionally has elements of autumn spices like nutmeg and cinnamon- so this should be a perfect pairing.

Mad Fox's Mason's Dark Mild (3.3% ABV)  One of their extreme session beers, this dark roasty malt-accented beer is our lowest alcohol beer yet. This session ale is toffee and chocolate accented with just enough hops to keep the malt sweetness from getting cloying. Brewed with English malts and English Goldings hops, this classic English-style ale was born for the Pub and your pint glass.

Special thank you to Tarara Winery, Flying Dog, Mad Fox, 3 Stars and Allagash for participating in our 2012 Thanksgiving Lamb Feast!

Recipe adapted from

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