Saturday, October 17, 2009

Butternut Soup

With the first hint of fall in the air, I felt the need to make a truly Autumnal feast a few nights ago. We had a couple of butternut squash laying around so obviously I decided to make Butternut squash soup! Who better than Micheal Chiarello to lead me in the right direction? I modified his recipe because it was way more complicated than it needed to be...unless you have 4 hours to devote to making a soup you may want to follow my version instead, but the original is here.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and seed 2 medium sized butternut squash. Roughly chop them into 1" pieces (they will eventually be blended so appearence doesn't matter.) Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and set to the side while you prepare the glaze:

In a medium sized sauce pan, melt 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (you can also use olive oil) on medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted add in:

2 Tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
2 Tbsp raw sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Simmer for 1-2 minutes and then pour over squash mixing until all the squash bits are thoroughly coated. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, tossing once or twice.

In the meantime dice:

1 small yellow onion
2 stalks celery (I didn't use celery, but you should)
1 small carrot

In a large stock pot on medium heat, pour 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the diced vegetables and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Allow to sautee for 8-10 minutes, stirring often to as not to burn anything. Season with S&P and slowly pour 4 cups chicken stock (can also use veggie stock). Put a lid on the top and turn heat to low until ready to incorporate the squash.

Once the squash is done roasting, puree in small batches in a food processor or blender and add to the soup base. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes and then puree the soup in a blender and pour back into stock pot. If you like you can add 1/2 cup half and half ( I did and it was awesome). Serve with sour cream.

I also made a salad with crumbled cheese, dried cherries and toasted walnuts with a balsamic viniagarette and a multigrain baguette on the side. It was the perfect fall meal.

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