Sunday, January 23, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Apple Cream

Serves: 4

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, minced
1 small stalk celery, minced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Chardonnay
4 cups chicken stock
2 sage leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.

2. Put the squash in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Spread out onto the prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes until tender and browned.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the squash, wine and stock. Bring to a boil. Add the sage and thyme and reduce the heat to low. Cook on a simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender in batches and purée, holding a towel over the vent hole in the top to let steam escape. (If too thick, add more stock.) Return to a saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.

4. Brush the apple slices with olive oil and grill for about 2 minutes per side until grill marks appear and the apples become soft. Transfer to a food processor and purée. Add the sour cream and pulse until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of the apple cream. Serve immediately.

Wine Affinity: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Riesling, Gewurztraminer

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