Written by Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 06 February 2014 12:18
Soup is always popular as a meal or accompanying a sandwich or dinner menu. I personally enjoy it during all seasons of the year although cold weather brings out some of my favorite soup recipes such as potato and leek soup; lentil with or without a pork bone; chicken noodle; New England clam chowder; tortilla soup; and squash soup —in particular pumpkin or butternut squash. Eaten by itself or combined with other vegetables or fruit, squash soup can be excellent with dairy as well, although sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed by the cream in my soup so I often add an ingredient that cuts the richness a bit while achieving another layer of flavor that is sublime. Tart-flavored apples, mangos or kiwis are delicious companions for squash or pumpkin soup.
Butternut squash with a tart green apple pureed creates the ideal soup combination with spices like cardamom and nutmeg. The soup is particularly simple to make now that grocery stores precut the squash for us. Boil them in a pot of hot water to soften or roast for another layer of flavor. If you add a couple of apples you have the makings for a delicious, warm meal that is made even more special with a slice of cornbread soufflé. Combine this with a glass of cider, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay with an oaky flavor and you have an afternoon of bliss.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Tart Apple Soup — Serves 4 to 6
1 large butternut squash, deseeded and roasted
Place two halves right side up on a sheet tray in oven @ 400F until soft—about 30 minutes. Scoop out the cooked squash and place in a mixing bowl.
2 medium-size Granny Smith apples cored, chopped, peeled and boiled in medium size pot for 15-20 minutes until soft
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, sauté until soft
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp nutmeg, ground
1 tsp cardamom, ground
1/2 tsp allspice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp thyme, ground
4 cups of vegetable stock
Salt and white pepper to taste
Drain apples and add roasted squash, sautéed onions, all spices and stock to the same pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
In batches, puree ingredients in a blender half way up the sides. Place a kitchen towel and the palm of your hand over the cover of the hot soup each time you blend a batch until done.
Once smooth and creamy, add a sprinkle of sea salt and white pepper and taste. If you wish to make spicier, add another pinch of cayenne or another dash of white pepper.
No need to add cream or butter. It’s naturally creamy. But cornbread soufflé is a nice addition on the side with a small salad dressed with pomegranate vinaigrette.
Cornbread Soufflé — Serves 8 to 10
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of fresh or frozen yellow corn
3 tbsp diced jalapeño pepper
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 large egg whites, whipped until they peak
1 cup buttermilk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
To dry mixture, add egg, buttermilk, oil, corn and jalapeños and mix until smooth. Gently fold whipped egg whites into the mixture.
Pour into buttered pan. Bake for 1 hour at 375F until golden brown.