Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup

In addition to cooking a lot more in the new year, we've also been reading more and more. A couple of weeks ago, on a flight to Maryland, we picked up Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Saveur (featuring the much-discussed Saveur 100).

Anyhow, in F&W, there was one article about locavores (folks who eat local food as exclusively as possible). I didn't know there was a name for that. Jenny and I pretty much always try to eat locally grown foods, and when that isn't possible we buy as much organic as possible (the one place we get tripped up is wine; Illinois wine is simply undrinkable). In the locavore article, there were a few recipes from a guy in Vermont, including one for butternut squash soup that sounded simple and delicious. And, really, it's just about the simplest soup I've made in a long time.

Just onions sautéed until soft and brown, then cubed squash simmered in stock for about 40 minutes (until soft). Then you blend the soup, whisk in a little heavy cream, and that's it. I sprinkled a little salt and freshly cracked pepper over top just before we served it.

The original recipe called for smoked cheddar and cooked apples over the soup, but we sliced them up on the side instead. I liked the snap of the fresh apple, and the soup had enough flavor that it didn't really need the added ingredients.

For dessert, we had a bread & chocolate 3400 Phinney bar from Theo Chocolate (a States-based organic and fair trade chocolate company). It had a wonderful blend of saltiness and creaminess and would nicely balance out the rosa pfeffer bar we ate last month.

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