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I love this recipe. It is easy, delicious and can both be a soup for lunch or a fancy dinner party starter. I made it for my Thanksgiving meal and have done variations of it for the last few years. I served it to my neighbors a few weeks ago with a bit extra curry and cream, I added about 2 cups of cream to the pot before pureeing it. It was unctuous and creamy and almost a meal in itself. You might want to serve small portions if you add the large quantity of cream or risk your guests not eating much else for dinner. If you do not have potimarron or kuri squash, then use just butternut. I would then use 1 large or two smaller ones. Potimarron or kuri squash, as it is sometimes called, is a delicious squash that tastes like a mix of butternut and chestnuts. I serve this soup in a shallow soup plate with a circle of cream in the center and a small spoonful of chopped chestnuts on top on the cream. To make it even more special, sauté some cooked chestnuts in a little butter, season with salt and pepper and chopped fresh thyme or sage, and spoon a little over the crème fraîche. This soup can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days or frozen for about 2 months. Reheat gently before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 butternut, peeled and cut into cubes
1 potimarron, peeled and cut into cubes
2 leeks, white parts only, sliced thinly
About 20 chestnuts (optional), cooked
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken bouillon, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of curry (optional)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heavy cream

Preparation:

In a large dutch oven, melt the butter
Add the leeks and sauté for  4 minutes, until softened but not colored
Add the butternut, potimarron and 15 chestnuts
Stir and sauté for about one minute
Add the ginger, nutmeg, cumin and curry (if using)
Pour in the bouillon and bring to the boil
Cover and simmer until all the veggies are soft, 20 minutes
Season to taste
With an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth
Warm the cream slightly, in the microwave is fine, for 20 seconds
Ladle the soup into plates or bowls
Pour some cream into each plate as artistically as you wish for decoration
Chop up the remaining chestnuts and sprinkle in the center of each serving
Enjoy!

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