What Maggie Stuckey has found and documented in this gorgeous four-color cookbook is that the humble idea of gathering friends and neighbors on a regular basis for a casual night of soup and sides has an extraordinarily positive ripple effect on children, senior citizens, families and communities at large. The idea of breaking bread is deep-rooted in American tradition, but it’s now that our country needs to bond together, and Soup Night (Storey Publishing, 2013), is the call to action that we’ve been waiting for. The following Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup Recipe is taken from chapter 3, “Winter.”
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Recipe from Martha Bayne, Chicago Soup and Bread
Martha says: This soup is adapted from one found in the Soup & Bread Cookbook. It was created for Soup & Bread by a Chicago filmmaker named Jack Newell, who in turn adapted it from a recipe in Eric Ripert and Michael Ruhlman’s A Return to Cooking. Such is the mutable — and community-built — nature of soup.
Try adjusting the proportions of acorn to butternut squash — or swap in a cup of sweet kuri squash. Or roast an apple in the oven and then throw that in the mix as well. If you are really lazy, you can roast the squash in its skin first and then just scoop out the innards and add the squash to the sauté mix.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced yellow onion
2 cups peeled and diced acorn squash
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
Freshly ground white pepper (fresh and white are important)
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
Optional seasonings: ground nutmeg, honey, cayenne, and/or minced fresh ginger
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the acorn and butternut squash and sauté until soft, maybe 10 minutes.
2. Season the squash mixture with salt and pepper, add the broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. For extra-satiny smoothness, pass the soup through a fine sieve after it’s puréed.
4. Return the soup to the pot, and add the cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Simmer.
5. Wrap the thyme in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with string to make a little bundle. Add it to the simmering soup and let it infuse for 10 minutes, then remove.
6. Add the cheese and mix gently until incorporated. Add optional seasonings as desired and serve hot.
Discover more fall and winter soup recipes from Soup Night:
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup, by Maggie Stuckey and published by Storey Publishing, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Soup Night.
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