Saturday, January 16, 2010
A better butternut squash recipe please...that was my wish for months and months. I am a food snob you see and find myself uninterested in half baked recipes, so to speak. Imagine the food critic in the movie "Ratatouille" declaring, "I don't like food, I love it! If I don't Love it, I don't swallow," and you will have a pretty good picture of moi. I have tried so many butternut squash soup recipes and find most to be more of a rendition of butternut squash flavored chicken stock OR so sugary sweet that I feel I'm eating desert. I wanted a soup that had many depths of flavor and I did not want a soup that addressed a child's sugar cravings-like I mentioned, I have a sophisticated palette, a mature, persnickety palette that's not interested in eating for the sake of eating, but rather for pleasure and nutritional principles. Tired of searching, I created my own recipe. I should tell you, I am not a fan of pork, in fact I never eat pork....being a true food snob though and realizing the necessity, I relented this one time for this soup recipe. The pork adds a depth of flavor I so desperately desired. I am very pleased with the finish product. I hope you will be too. Pork: I highly suggest using non-nitrite cured prosciutto.
Best Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and roasted in the oven til cooked through, cooled, flesh removed (this can be done the day before and stored in the fridge)
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped finely
1 bunch fresh sage, 1/3 of it chopped
1 package proscuitto, about 1/2 lb
1 pint chicken stock
2 Tablespoonfuls Olive oil
Cream or half and half
1 Tablespoonful butter
In soup pot, sear the prosciutto til crispy, remove from pot and set aside; leave the prosiutto remnants in the bottom of the pot, Add olive oil to pot and saute onion, celery, and chopped portion of the sage until celery and onion are translucent. Add butternut squash flesh and the pint of chicken stock. Stir to combine. Warm to a simmer. Crumble in a few slices of the crispy prosciutto. Cool soup down. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor. ***If soup is not cool when you blend it it will gush out of the blender and burn you. Once a creamy consistency, return to pot, heat, and add cream or half and half to thin if necessary. (It will most likely be necessary.)
In a separate skillet, heat butter and add remaining sage leaves, stems removed. Cook til crisp, flipping during process.
Serve soup with crispy prosciutto and crispy sage leaves on top as a garnish.