Posted by: Part-Time Audiophile | July 30, 2009

Creamy butternut squash soup

Picked this one up from Day 2 of my servitude to the current CT101 class. Definitely not the most seasonally appropriate dish, but I guess it’s a classic, even if this variation has some unexpected spices that take this one in a different, but tasty, direction. Note, all measurements are guestimates. This was a live demo!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butternut squash: peeled, lg dice
  • 1/2 cup carrot: peeled, lg dice
  • 1/2 cup celery: lg dice
  • 1/2 cup leeks: greens ok, rough chop
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple: peeled, lg dice
  • ~2 tablespoons fresh ginger: chopped or grated
  • ~4 cloves of garlic: peeled, smashed, “cores”/germ removed
  • 1 cup potatoes: peeled, lg dice
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cream cheese
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chives: fine chop
  • Bouquet garni

Preparation

Frying pan, low heat. Sweat the leeks in some butter & a pinch of salt. As they begin to soften (~5 mins), add celery. Sweat for another 5 mins, add carrots & squash. Continue to sweat 5 mins, then add apple., garlic, ginger.

Add chicken stock to barely cover the vegetables.

Add spices, potatoes, pinch salt, pepper to taste.

Cover till cooked through, ~15 mins.

Uncover, reduce about 20-30 mins. Remember, this is still low heat.

While this is going, prep the topping. Add 1/4 cup of cream to 1/2 cup of cream cheese — blend thoroughly. Consistency should be mayonnaise-like. Season, if necessary — if you add pepper, keep it white pepper. Add to squeeze bottle (if you have one) and leave in fridge till serving.

Remove from heat — remove the bouquet and add the rest to your high-powered blender. Got Vita Mix? Add cream, and blend on high — blitz the crap out of it. In fact, keep going about 15 seconds after you think it’s “done”.

“Pass through” a fine mess strainer. You’re going to need a spatula or ladle. Scrape outsides of strainer into the soup, mix well, adjust seasoning.

Serve. Ladle into bowls, squirt topping into fun zig-zag shape, top with chives.

Notes

Cardamom, ginger & cinnamon in butternut squash soup? Well, yes. Add a bit of Africa to your southern French flair. It’s delicious.

The apple is also an odd-ball, IMO. Chef Patrice said he wanted to add some acidity to the dish, but I’m worried that the overall balance is now a bit too sweet, so I halved the amount of carrots to 1/2 cup (from the 1 cup used in the demo). So, if you’re inclined to follow the recipe as I’ve tried to create it, make sure you don’t use “any old apple” — go super tart or skip it altogether. The juice of a lemon might work as a substitute. It probably won’t curdle the cream. 😉

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