By Eileen Goldfinger, Food and Garden Editor @Blogfinger
3 pounds butternut squash
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
3 sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small leek, white section, washed and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 spice “tea” bag, (1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 4 whole peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth and tied closed with kitchen twine)
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Rub the cut side of the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon ground garlic and half teaspoon black pepper.
Place on baking sheet and roast in oven for 30 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is fork tender. Remove squash from oven, set aside and let it cool. Remove flesh from skin.
In an 8 quart stock pot add remaining olive oil and butter and heat on medium low until butter melts, approximately 5 minutes. Add leek, shallots, fresh garlic, remaining salt, black pepper, white pepper and spice bag. Cook until the shallots are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Add the flesh of the squash and broth and cook at a simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.
Remove the spice bag. Use an immersion blender and blend until the soup is pureed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more cayenne pepper if you want it spicier. The soup should have the consistency of apple sauce. If it is too thin, raise the heat to medium and cook until it thickens.
Serve it with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream.
Here is Eileen preparing this heart-healthy recipe while wearing her American College of Cardiology sweatshirt. It’s a great college, but unfortunately, they have no football team.
Serves 6 – 8