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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Cooking - The Seasoned Chef

Autumn's bounty gives rich, earthy flavors
Rating: 2.81 / 5 (236 votes)  
Posted: 2007 Nov 09 - 02:54

November is here, and with it comes food in different shapes and textures that make cooking fun. A variety of treats are already in their prime starting with pears, quince, apples, Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, and, of course, squash.

Mushrooms are also at their best, including cremini, chanterelles, black trumpets and hedgehog, all of which boast distinctive shapes and tastes that emphasize their elegant woodsy flavors.

Butternut squash soup

Makes 6 servings

3 medium butternut squash, peeled and large diced

3 shallots, peeled and sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 strips of bacon

2 tablespoons of butter

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 bayleaf

3 cups of chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook the bacon over a medium flame (heat) until it is crispy. Remove and set to the side.

Leaving the bacon grease in the pot, add the butter and melt it over a high flame. Then, add the onions, garlic and butternut squash and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the squash is soft (after about 6 minutes turn the flame down to medium).

Next, we add the chicken stock, bay leaf and fresh thyme. Bring the soup to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool off a bit, then remove the bay leaf and thyme, and puree the rest with either a hand-held or a conventional blender. Return the soup to the pot, chop the bacon and add it to the soup and cover until ready to serve.

Tips and techniques

. If you use a bar blender to puree the soup, do it in small batches, because the heat creates pressure that could blow the lid right off.

. When you cut open the butternut squash, the flesh should be pumpkin orange not pale yellow.

Contact Chris Kennedy at Seasoned Catering at (561) 351-0221, or e-mail chris@seasonedcatering.com.

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