Posts Tagged ‘vegetable stock’

Unrecipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Soup

November 20, 2013

The weather is changing and winter is in the air. For me, that spells the beginning of soup season. I used to start Thanksgiving dinner with pumpkin or butternut squash soup. As the crowd grew, and the accompanying extra dishes grew, I pulled back. This year, I am craving a warm start to the meal, and this soup fills the bill. I will serve it in teacups, to prevent everyone from filling up before the main event!

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Although the “unrecipe” calls for butternut squash, feel free to substitute fresh pumpkin.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

Savory Butternut Squash Soup:

Finely chop the white and light green part of one leek, and saute it in butter or olive oil, until softened but not browned. Add 3-4 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed*,  1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and  2 tablespoon of cumin, and continue to stir for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to merge. Season with salt and black pepper. Add a few tablespoons of Sherry, and cook long enough for it to evaporate into the mixture.

Add about 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, (enough to fully cover the squash), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the squash is soft.

Puree the soup in a blender, or use an immersion blender until smooth. Add more stock if the soup is getting too thick. Taste, and correct seasonings if necessary. Stir in a little more Sherry if desired, when ready to serve.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and enjoy!

* many specialty food markets, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have already peeled and cubed butternut squash, which makes this much easier to make!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Winter Comfort

February 15, 2013

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The weather in New York has been cold and miserable. Last night’s blizzard left us thankfully unscathed, but we are in the mood for hunkering down at home. What is more soothing on a lazy winter night than the all-American classic, tomato soup and grilled cheese?
This simple soup has few ingredients and lots of taste. The grilled cheese croutons offer an unexpected twist. It is quick enough for a weeknight meal tomorrow’s lunch, with a little Parmesan cheese, instead of the croutons.

For the Tomato Soup:

Saute a diced onion and a few diced cloves of garlic in olive oil until soft and transparent. Add about 52 oz. (2 tetra packs or large cans ) chopped tomatoes and about 36 oz.vegetable or chicken stock. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs. I added a bay leaf, and some cayenne pepper for a little heat. Oregano and basil are also nice touches. It’s an unrecipe…use whatever flavors you like to season the soup. Simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree the soup at return it to the pot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a little cream to the soup if desired. Enjoy with grilled cheese croutons.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

Butter the bread of your choice. Fill sandwiches with cheese. Gruyere adds a sophisticated jolt of flavor, but good old cheddar is fine too. A used a shredded 4 cheese blend that I had on hand. Grill the sandwiches on both sides until they are golden brown, and the cheese is melted inside. Cut into 6 or 8 squares and serve in the soup.

Enjoy!


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