Saturday, November 24, 2012

Butternut squash soup

This was the first sit down course at Thangsgiving 2012. It is my go to soup when I want something silky and elegant, with the slight possibility of it being healthy. This recipe was adapted from the aproach I saw in America's Test Kitchen. Fortunately it keeps really well over night so can easily be made ahead of time. The white pepper in this recipe gives some heat but without the visual of the black peppercoorns, nor the distinctive pepper taste.

This is for a 4 person serving. I trebled everything for the 12 personThanksgiving sit down


1 Large butter nut squash (around 2 lbs)
2 oz unsalted butter
1 medium shallot finely minced
Freshly ground WHITE pepper to taste


Cut the bulb end off the butter nut squash, and scrape out the strings and seeds. Set them aside. Cut the butternut squash (unpeeled) into quarters. Do not bother to peel/
In a dutch oven or large saucepot over low heat, melt the butter and saute the shallot with the strings and seeds. This takes about 10 minutes. Once the strings and seeds are cooked, add about 3 cups of water to the pot, set a steamer basket into the pot and then place the rest of the squash in the basket. Return to the heat, and steam the squash until fork tender. About 15-20 minutes. When the squash is cooked, remove, set aside and allow to cool. Strain the liquid off the strings and seed, throw away the strings/seeds - they have given their all.
When the squash is cooled, peel the skin off and reserve the chunks of squash. Blend the chuncks with minimal water in the blender (better not to use the food processor unless you want to change your kitchen color scheme - and no I don't have that experience). Blend in batches until smooth, adding liquid as necessary to get the thickness you want. You want to end up with about 20 oz (1 pint + 1 cup - US) of liquid for 5oz portions
Once blended, strain through a fine meshed strainer to ensure the soup is silky smooth. Add salt (up to 1t of kosher salt), white pepper, and maybe a few drops of sherry vinegar. I did not add the vinegar this time but have in the past.


Serve piping hot in heated bowls with a few croutons artfully arranged on top.

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