This soup pairs beautifully with Bourassa Petit Syrah. It brings out the wines sophisticated fruitiness and light spiciness too. Roasting butternut squash gives the soup a more complex flavor. The oatmeal helps thicken without using fat or starch, and is a convenient way to add fiber.
1 small butternut squash, 1 pound
2 carrots, cleaned and cut in 2" pieces
1 apple, peeled and cut in 2" pieces
1 medium onion or ½ large onion
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup oatmeal, (old fashion or quick)
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 qt. vegetable stock (see recipe)
½ cup of whole milk
4 sprigs of fried sage leaves for garnish (see note below)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the butternut squash in half. Remove the seeds from squash and place squash on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, add the carrots and apple and continue baking until the top of the squash is golden brown.
Over medium high heat cook the onion, shallot, and garlic in butter in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan until translucent.
When the butternut is cool enough to handle remove the butternut squash pulp from the skin and add to the onion mixture, along with the the carrot, apple, oatmeal, nutmeg, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes making sure all the ingredients are soft. In the meantime fry sage and preheat serving bowls.
Puree soup in a blender until smooth. Using a spatula, pass puree through a fine strainer until pulp is removed and texture is smooth and velvety. Add the milk and reheat soup.
Keep warm until ready to serve. Serve in warm bowls garnished with fried sage leaves.
Slide 1 Fried sage leaves: Heat ¼" of vegetable oil in a sauté pan when hot add a few sage leaves, cook for about a minute on each side. When they stop sizzling remove, and drain on paper towels sprinkle with sea salt. They should be crisp, try to not let them brown.
-Replace garlic with roasted garlic cloves.
-Add ½ Thai chili and replace milk with 1 cup coconut milk, garnish with fresh cilantro.
-If you substitue pumpkin you may need 2x's as much as pumpkins can contain a lot of water. And add a little honey or sugar as they aren't as sweet.
©Julie Logue-Riordan 2009
Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie