Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

My kitty, Audrey, likes Halloween, too!

Today, I'm giving you the most delicious soup recipe! It is great on a chilly day, like Halloween! Fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, a hint of crushed red pepper, and awesome homemade croutons really make it sing. Even my carnivore husband loves it!

(Oops! I forgot the fried sage leaves in the picture!)

Superb Squash Soup with the Best Parmesan Croutons

Serves 8, great leftover for lunch!


For the soup:
Olive oil, like WeOlive oil
16 fresh sage leaves
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 1/4 pounds butternut squash, onion squash, or musque de Provence, halved, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 quarts good-quality chicken or vegetable stock

For the croutons:
Extra-virgin olive oil
16 slices ciabatta bread
1 chunk Parmesan, for grating


In a very large saucepan on medium heat, add a couple glugs of olive oil. Add the sage leaves and fry for around 30 seconds or until dark green and crisp. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with paper towels - you'll use these for sprinkling over the soup at the end. In the pan you'll be left with a beautiful flavored oil.

Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, chile  and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook gently, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are sweet and soft.

Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer for around 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, make the croutons. Drizzle a little olive oil over the ciabatta slices, and press some grated Parmesan onto each side. Place in a non-stick pan, without any oil, and fry until golden on both sides.

When the squash is soft and cooked through, remove the rosemary sprigs and whiz the soup with an immersion blender or standard blender and pulse until you have a smooth puree. (Be careful when blending hot liquids.) Most importantly, remember to taste and season it until it's perfect. Divide the soup between your bowls, placing 2 croutons on top of each. Sprinkle with a few of your crispy sage leaves and drizzle with a swirl of good-quality olive oil.

Recipe adapted from "Jamie at Home" by Jamie Oliver.

No comments:

Post a Comment