Last week on Home and Family our very own Shirley Bovshaw showed us winter squash and different ways to prepare them. Who knew you could actually eat gords! One of the squash she showed us was butternut. The butternut squash makes a creamy smooth soup filled with fall spices. It’s the perfect soup to fill the soul before you go trick or treating or to calm you down before the big game!
Let’s get started.
Make the Balsamic Glaze for the spider web first!
1 (16.9 fluid ounce) bottle balsamic vinegar
Pour the whole bottle into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and continue to boil until the vinegar starts to thicken and forms a syrup like consistency, about 14 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to thicken too much, or you will end up with a thick black goop. To test, use a wooden spoon if the syrup coats the back of the spoon it is ready to remove from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature before you store it in the refrigerator. I use a needle nose plastic, bottle to store my glaze after it has cooled. It will last up to a month in the refrigerator. It is easier to work with when it is chilled.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
5 scallions chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pound butternut squash
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 quarts chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth
2 teaspoon dry sherry or dry white wine
8 ounces nonfat or low-fat cream cheese, room temperature and cut into pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons low-fat or non-fat sour cream (optional)
3 teaspoons chopped scallions
1-1/2 teaspoons diced jalapenos, for garnish (optional)
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
pinch of Cayenne pepper (as garnish, optional)
½ teaspoon truffle oil, extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil per serving for garnish
Preheat oven 325 F
In a rimmed baking sheet spread out the sliced onions and chopped scallions and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Use your hands to mix together well. Set aside.
Place the whole squash in a separate roasting pan, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and use your hands again to rub the oil all over the squash to coat.
Place both the roasting pan with the squash and the baking sheet with the onions in the oven.
Roast the onions for 45 minutes or until the onion have caramelized and are mostly a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Roast the squash longer (15 minutes more) or until you can insert a paring knife through the middle easily. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
Slice the squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and scrape out the flesh and place in a stockpot. Add the caramelized onions, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, chicken stock and sherry. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
In a blender, in batches add 2 ladles of soup and 2 ounces of the cream cheese at a time, and blend until smooth, for 1 minute. Pour into a clean stockpot.
Continue this process until all of the soup and all of the cream cheese is used. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
A quenelle is an oval-shaped dumpling and can be made with fish, meat, liver, or poultry.
I make a Non-Quenelles and I call it that because I make mine without using the conventional ingredients, I use vegetables instead and shape them into an oval-shape reminiscent of a Quenelle!
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces zucchini, minced
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, minced
2 medium size fresh mint leaves, minced
2 teaspoons chives, minced
Heat a non-stick pan for 1 minute on medium high heat. Add the olive oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes or until they start to caramelize.
Add the zucchini and salt and cook until almost all of the liquid has cooked down.
Pour into a bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Add the Parmesan Cheese, bread crumbs, Italian Parsley, mint leaves and chives mix together well
To shape into Quenelles take two teaspoons and fill up one with the zucchini mixture and roll them back and forth between both spoons until you have a solid oval shape. It may take 4 to 5 passes at it before you have the perfect shape. Place gently on a plate, cover lightly with plastic wrap while you make the soup.
TO MAKE SPIDER WEB
Make the spider web when you are ready to serve the soup and it is piping hot!
After you have poured the heated soup into a serving warmed soup bowls take your needle nose balsamic syrup and make 4 circles starting from the widest part of the bowl working your way into the middle. Use a chopstick, toothpick or sharp knife to make the design for the spiders web. Take the point and place it in the middle of the smallest circle and drag it towards the rim of the plate. Continue to do this until you have completed the circle all the around the dish! You should end up with a fancy looking web!
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