Wednesday, October 20, 2010

soup du jour

Rainy weather calls for warm savory soup at least to me it does, it’s just so warm and comforting. Monday night I made a roasted butternut squash soup recipe I found in my Bride & Groom First and Forever Cook book, which I received from my then boyfriend, now husband before we were even engaged, he picked it up while in Napa on a business trip, I should’ve known then that the proposal was coming soon, but that’s a whole other story. I followed the recipe exactly except for the nutmeg, since I didn’t have any on hand, instead I used cayenne pepper, which added a more peppery spiciness to it. It turned out quite yummy! Warms you right up, just perfect for a cold rainy night!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crème Heart Swirls·

1 2 ½ – pound butternut squash (3 cups, cooked)·
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing·
1 tablespoon unsalted butter·
1 medium yellow onion, chopped·
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste·
Freshly ground pepper·
3 tablespoons calvados or brandy·
3 ½ cups homemade chicken stock, vegetable stock, or two 14-ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth, plus more as needed·
¾ cup evaporated milk·
Fresh grated nutmeg, or pinch of ground nutmeg·
2 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Brush the squash flesh with olive oil, and place face-down on a roasting pan. Check the squash after 34 to 45 minutes, though it could take over an hour. When the squash is very soft and yields to the touch, remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil and butter to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful that the onion does not color at all. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the Calvados and cook until the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.

Once the squash has cooled, remove the seeds, and scoop out the squash flesh, discarding the skin. Place in a small bowl. You will need 3 cups of butternut squash for this recipe. Reserve an extra for later use.

Combine half of the cooked squash, half of the onion, half of the chicken stock, and half of the evaporated milk in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour back into a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Repeat, blending the second half of the squash, onion, chicken broth, and evaporated milk. Once blended, pour into the pot with the first batch. Season with kosher salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. (Adjust consistency, if necessary, with more chicken stock or water.)

Place the sour cream in a small bowl and stir using a spoon, until silky smooth. Thin slightly by stirring in 2 teaspoons of warm water. Divide the soup among the number of bowls to be served. With a small spoon, drop 5 small, pea-size dots, in a circle, on top of the soup. Take a sharp knife, and run the knife straight through the dot, creating a heart shape. Serve immediately.


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