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Archive for October 14th, 2011

It’s raining cats and dogs as I type this. It’s been raining for two days and they are predicting more. Me. Not happy. This is the not so pretty part of autumn.

We’re having JTs “step brother’s” over for dinner tonight; Alan is from Vancouver and Peter is from Wasaga Beach. Our nephew Brian (the one we visited in Calgary in June, just moved back to Toronto and is staying with us for a couple of weeks) is also joining us. Wow, that’s me with four handsome men! I decided to make an all time favourite that really only works with a crowd, Paella.

But first our appetizer: the beautiful fall inspired butternut squash velouté. What’s a little different about this soup is that there is no Roux, or cream, just vegetables. And a Granny Smith apple (you see how I snuck that in?). I always oven roast my vegetables for the most flavour, and for this one, I also roasted an entire head of Ontario Garlic. The roasting happened a little quicker than expected because of all the moisture in the pan from the onions and the apple, I didn’t get the anticipated caramelization on the squash. Next time, I’ll roast the squash and potato separate to the apple and onion; it still made a mighty fine autumn soup. I have modified the instructions as such.

Going into the oven at 400°F

The recipe is really just to taste, if you love something, add more, hate something, omit it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into cubes (save the seeds)
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium Vidalia, or Mayan onion, peeled and chopped into eighths
  • 1 head of garlic, remove some of the outer peel, leaving the cloves intact
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, washed and cut into similarly sized cubes as everything else
  • Chicken or vegetable stock (we used no salt stock, we’re getting back into home made chicken stock time soon).
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Squash Seeds:

  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp EVOO

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Make sure your vegetables are cut to similar size so they cook similarly.
  3. Roast potatoes and squash drizzled with EVOO and salt in one pan; the onions and apple drizzled with EVOO in another for 30-45 minutes until soft.
  4. Put the trimmed garlic head in a ramekin that just fits it, drizzle with EVOO (about 2 Tbsp) and salt lightly. Cover with tin foil and bake until bulbs are soft, about 45 minutes.
  5. Combine everything in a large high sided bowl (the apple skins should just peel off, but don’t worry if the don’t) and purée with an immersion blender until smooth, adding stock to desired consistency.
  6. Press through a fine sieve or chinoise strainer, so it’s velvety smooth. Keep warm or refrigerate for later. Reheat before serving.
  7. Clean off the reserved squash seeds, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle on the spices and bake until slightly toasted (or when they begin to pop).
  8. 8. Serve in soup cups with the squash seeds as garnish.

The soup, excuse me, velouté

Happy Friday Everyone, I hope you enjoy your weekend.

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