This is actually a two-fold recipe; it starts with a roasted butternut squash puree that you can freeze off, turn into soup, make into a pasta sauce, or even whip up into a side dish. I've done all of those things with it. I especially like the sweet/tart/caramelized edge that the squash takes on from the roasting glaze - it's subtle, but it's definitely there, and definitely good. It's easy to make vegan - substitute soy margarine or olive oil in the roasting glaze, swap veggie stock in for the chicken stock, and either omit the half-and-half or sub in cooking-grade soy milk. The recipe comes from the Tra Vigne Cookbook, a gift a few Christmases ago from the Krists. Recipe follows.
Roasted Winter Squash makes about four cups puree
about 3 lbs butternut squash
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dark unsulfered molasses
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the squash. Halve lengthwise, discard the seeds, then cut into 1-inch dice. Place in large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter ceases to foam and has turned a light brown, pull the pan off the heat and immediately add the sage, sugar, vinegar, and molasses. Mix well and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes to meld the flavors.
Pour the veingar mix over the squash and toss well, then tranfer to a heavy rimmed baking sheet or baking dish large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, tossing at least once, until very tender and caramelized, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm.
Work in batches if necessary; transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to two months.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. diced onion (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c. diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c. diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
1 cinnamon stick
salt and freshly ground pepper
about 4 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional) (nb: i always use it)
1.5 c. roasted winter squash
1/2 c. half-and-half
1/4 c. mascarpone cheese (optional)
2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and cinnamon stick and saute until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken stock and the coriander, if using, and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes. Stir in the squash until smooth, then simmer gently to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Add the half-and-half, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with a spoonful of mascarpone and/or a scattering of pumpkin seeds.
Additional notes from meriko: Always use the coriander. Sometimes if the soup is too, too rich, i'll add a tsp of white wine vinegar to brighten it up. (Be cautious - a little goes a long way.) I also often top this with a small drizzle of pumpkinseed oil instead of the pumpkin seeds.Posted by shock on November 03, 2002 | TrackBack