Friday, October 12, 2007

Time For Soup

I found a recipe for Butternut Squash Soup on the Williams Sonoma website and thought I'd give it a try. It's raining today and I'm in the mood to light the fireplace and cook up some soup. I would love to serve it in the cute little harvest bowls (shown above) - unfortunately shopping at Williams-Sonoma isn't in the plans.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tbs. olive oil
5 oz. pancetta, cut into small dice
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 sprig fresh sage leaves
3 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
32 oz. butternut squash puree
1 1/2 Tbs. Marsala wine
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Lightly whipped cream for garnish
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

In a stockpot over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towellined plate; reserve the oil in the pot. Add the onion and sugar to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and slightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sage sprig and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and squash puree and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sage sprig and discard. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Add the Marsala and season with salt and white pepper. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender (I just use a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth, then whisk in the cream. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with the pancetta, a dollop of whipped cream and hazelnuts. Serves 6.
Note - I made the Butter Squash Puree from this recipe.

Butternut Squash Puree

2 butternut squash (about 1 pound each) 4 tablespoons softened butter, divided Salt and pepper, to taste 1 orange, zested 3 tablespoons orange blossom honey Pinch ground cinnamon
Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings. Rub the insides with 2 tablespoons softened butter; season with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan, skin side down. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until fork tender (this always seems to take more than double the time indicated). Remove the squash from the oven, scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor. Add the orange zest, honey and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Puree until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Pulse a few times to incorporate.

(Of course I have to double the entire recipe for my family)

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