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Friday, December 31, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche

Cold weather equals soup on the kettle in our house.  I do not know why I have this obsession with butternut squash soup, but here we go again...Last minute Larry here did not realize the homemade creme fraiche needs to be made a day in advance so we did without.  Sweet, smooth, creamy and easy describes this soup.

roasted in my toaster oven

cool remove seeds and skin

my massive sage plant that started as a tiny Home Depot twig

prior to blending

Butternut Squash Soup
with Creme Fraiche 
from Maria Helm Sinkskey's
The Vineyard Kitchen

1 butternut squash (mine was about 5 pounds)
1 medium sweet onion
1T olive oil
1T raw honey
6 fresh sage leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups organic chicken stock
1 cup creme fraiche (recipe follows)(make a day in advance)

~ preheat oven 400
~ prick squash with fork
~ place whole on a baking sheet 
~ roast until softened about 45 minutes
~ cool, cut in half, remove seeds 
~ cut into 2 inch slices and remove skin
~ cut slices into cubes
~  peel, trim and coarsely chop onion, reserve 
~ heat pan medium heat
~ add olive oil heat
~ add onion and saute until translucent and begins to brown
~ add honey and cook until it begins to bubble
~ add squash cubes and sage
~ season with salt and pepper
~ add chicken broth
~ add water to cover squash by 1 inch (4 cups for me)
~ bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer
~ cook 45 minutes to 1 hour until squash and onion are very tender
~ cool 15 minutes
~ puree with an immersion blender (the cookbook directs the use of a blender...don't do it .  Hot liquid and blenders do not mix well.  Invest in an immersion blender.  They are not costly and so much fun)
~ season with salt and freshly ground pepper
~ ladle with a dollop of creme fraiche (about 1T per bowl)

Creme Fraiche

1 cups heavy cream
2T buttermilk

~ combined cream and buttermilk in a very clean glass bowl
~ cover with cheese cloth secured by a rubber band or a piece of plastic wrap that has been perforated with a toothpick twenty times or more
~ let the mixture sit at room temperature overnight or for up to 2 days
~ mild - refrigerate after one night
~ tangy - leave out 2 nights
~ transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate

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