Friday, November 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Carmelized Apples

So my husband is an amazing cook. I'm slightly intimidated by this fact since I'm the one planning to stay home with Eva and any other kids we may have, and I can't cook. I'm a decent baker, but cooking...I'll put it this way: I burned Tuna Helper.

Anyway, I figure I'll have to learn, but for now, here's one of the yummy recipes Damon makes for me sometimes. He made it for my triad girls this week. Love him.

It's from Wayne Gisslen's Professional Cooking, and some of the measurements are weird because it's literally for professionals. This makes 24 portions; he QUARTERED the recipe to feed 4-5 people.

Butternut Squash Soup with Carmelized Apples

French bread
4 Tb. butter

1. Cut the bread into slices 1/2 inch thick.
2. Fry the bread in the butter until golden brown (if desired, prepare additional croutons for garnish at the same time; see step 8).

4 Tb. butter
1/2 lb. (8 oz) onion, small dice
1/2 lb. (8 oz) leeks, small dice
3/4 lb. (12 oz) carrots, small dice
4 lb. butternut squash, medium dice
5 qt. chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat.
4. Add the onions, leeks and carrots. Sweat them until they are about half cooked. Do not let them brown.
5. Add the squash, stock and browned bread from step 2. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
6. Puree the soup with a food mill or immersion blender.
7. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

24 croutons (see procedure)
1 1/2 lb. tart, firm cooking apples (we used granny smith)
2 Tb. butter
4 Tb. brown sugar

8. Prepare croutons by browning slices of French bread in butter as in steps 1 and 2. For best appearance, use slender loaf so that croutons aren't too big.
9. Peel and core apples. Cut into small dice
10. Heat the butter in a saute pan and add the apples and sugar. Cook over moderate heat until apples are brown and carmelized.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (optional)
additional cream as needed

11. At service, heat the heavy cream and add to the soup.
12. For each portion, ladle the soup into a broad soup bowl. Decorate the top of the soup with a swirl of cream, if desired. Heap a generous tablespoon of apples onto a crouton and carefully place in the soup.