Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Shallot Garnish

The addition of a potato to this traditional soup gives it a thick and velvety consistency. Feel free to spice up the soup with your favorites. Cumin, chili powder, curry, cinnamon and ginger are all welcome additions.

For soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced, about 1 ½ cups
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped, about 1 cup
3 medium celery ribs, sliced, about 1 cup
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 tablespoon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced, about 6 cups
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups
2 cups dry white wine
2 quarts homemade chicken broth, or low sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 sprigs sage leaves
1 large orange, cut in half

For shallots:
4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
2 cups canola oil
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

The best way to cut and peel a butternut squash is to first, trim off the bottom. Cut the squash in half, and then half again. Smaller pieces are easier to handle. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the seeds. Now, wash the knife and your hands well. The squash is slippery. A clean knife and hands will make chopping easier. Cut it into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Add the butternut squash and potato to the pot and stir. Pour in the wine and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock. Place the sage into the pot. Squeeze the juice of the orange into the pot and add the orange halves. Cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool the soup. Remove the sage sprigs and orange halves. Use an immersion blender, food processor or blender to emulsify the soup. Pour the soup back into the pot and season with salt and pepper.

Place the shallots and the oil in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Turn the onions every few minutes until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon to a dish layered with paper towels. As the shallots sit, they will become crispy. Season with salt and pepper. If not using immediately keep warm in a warming drawer, or in the oven on the lowest setting.

Ladle the soup into bowls or mugs. Top with crispy shallots.

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes for soup, 20 minutes for shallots


Jen said...

I just scribbled down the ingredients to this recipe and am off to Publix : )!!!!

Jen said...

I made this Sunday and it was FABULOUS! I ran out of dry white wine because of a party the night before, so I substituted with beer which worked out great. Also added a dash of curry, but I think the juice of orange made the recipe - will definitely make again!

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