Autumn is in the Air and it is Soup Time!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

It is getting nice and cool outside and I am so happy.  Autumn is my favorite season.  It's cool enough to wear sweaters, boots, hats, and scarfs but not cold enough to wear a big jacket.  The problem is I live in Atlanta so it's not that cool just yet.  The highs are in the 70s but the lows are in the 50s.  I consider this weather perfect for a short boot and a long sleeve shirt, others might not agree.  I am itching to put on some high boots and a sweater.  I will just have to wait patiently.

I purchased a cute Autumn sweater on Piperlime and I ready to wear it!!!


Today, I am making Butternut Squash Soup and I would love to share the recipe with you all.

But, first let's talk about the crafting bug that has bitten me.  I have mentioned I have crafting a lot and I would like to share the banner that I made for JT's coworker.






I used felt for the triangles and letters.  Each letter and triangle are hand stitched. And then a sewed on a white twill tape to connect all the triangles. I am so proud of myself.  I love the way it turned out.  I am working on more and hopefully will be done by the end of the week.  I have decided that I should sell them at my shop.  Details will come soon.

Now to Butternut Squash Soup....

Butternut Squash Soup      

adapted by Michael Chiarello

First the Toasted Spice Rub:

1/4 cup fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


1/4 cup fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds


Toast fennel seeds, peppercorns, and coriander seeds in a pan over medium heat.  


When fennel turns light brown, turn on exhaust fan and add the red pepper flakes and toss.  Take off heat and add to a blender.


1/4 cup paprika, 2 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Add paprika, salt, and cinnamon to the blender and blend until spices are evenly grounded. 


Store spice mix in cool, dry place, or freeze until you are ready to use it.


Now let's roast the Butternut Squash: 

About 3 pounds butternut squash
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons Toasted Spice Rub



1large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)


Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. For me, this step was the biggest pain in the butt.


Cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds.  


Cut into 1-inch dice, place in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.


Melt 1/2 cup unsalted butter over medium heat.


2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses


When the butter stops foaming and start turning light brown take of the heat.  Then immediately add the sugar, vinegar, molasses and 2 teaspoons of the Toasted Spice Rub.  Stir and simmer at medium-low for 1 -2 minutes to combine the flavors.


Put squash in a heavy rimmed baking sheet and pour the vinegar mixture of the squash.  Stir or toss to coat the squash.  Then place in the oven and roast about 45-60 minutes.  Hallway through toss to coat the squash again.  



Take out of oven when squash is soft and caramelized.  Set aside to cool a little but it needs to stay warm.


Add warm squash and the cooking liquid to a food processor.  Process until smooth.  If you food processor is not big enough for all the squash work in batches.  


It is finally time to make the soup:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup (1/4-inch) diced celery
1/4 cup (1/4-inch) diced carrot
1 cinnamon stick
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
Roasted Winter Squash



4 fresh sage leaves


1/2 cup diced onion, 1/4 cup diced celery, 1/4 cup diced carrot


Chop the fresh sage leaves


1 cinnamon stick

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Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat.  When oil is hot, add the sage leaves, onion, celery, and carrot, and cinnamon stick.  Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.   



4 cups of Chicken Stock


Add chicken stock to saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling decrease heat to a simmer and simmer for several minutes.  


Add roasted squash.  Stir and simmer about 10 minutes to let the flavors combine.  Discard the cinnamon stick


Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  If you don't have an immersion blender get one! Just kidding.  I am getting  loopy because of this long recipe.  You can add everything to a blender and blend until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Now you have Butternut Squash Soup!!!!


These steps are optional:

1/2 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds



I like to add 1/2 cup half and half and about a teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg. 



I also like garnish with some pepitas, toasted pumpkin seeds.  


Wow, that was long.  I guess it is about 3 recipes in one.  This soup did take me a while but it was well worth it.  I think it would be easier if you roasted the squash a day ahead.  But, I am horrible planner so a day ahead never works for me.  I did roast the squash during the afternoon so after we got back from diving I could make the soup.

I hope you enjoy it.  I am already thinking about what soup I will post next .  Any suggestions?  Talk to you soon.

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