Thursday, January 25, 2007

Soup du Jour

After a very taxing day at work yesterday, I sequestered myself in my kitchen for a dual relaxation/reward night making comfort foods: Braised Short Ribs, Pasta Carbonara, and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. The success of the evening was a new recipe I was attempting to re-create from the restaurant I cocktail waitress at when strapped for cash, The Edendale Bar and Grill in Silver Lake. Our chef, Justin (who not only makes superb food, but also lets me snack on as many french fries as I want during my shift), may kill me for posting his recipe for the world to know, but I did make some minor adjustments, and can (somewhat) pretend it's my own. I shall title it "Justin's Squash soup with Pear and Chipotle." Thanks a mil Justin, you're a darling!

Justin's Butternut Squash Soup with Pear & Chipotle

1 large butternut squash, halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Anjou Pear, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 can chipotle peppers, in adobo, seeded
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. milk or cream
Apple cider vinegar to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a 400-degree oven, roast the squash, face down in a glass baking dish until tender, about 1 hour. When cool, scrape squash from skin into bowl and set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft and onions become translucent. Add the pears, and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine, and boil until the liquid reduces by three-fourths, and the alcohol cooks off.

In a blender, purée the squash and pear/onion mixture and 1/2 the chicken broth. Add the chipotle pepper, and continue to blend until mixed well. Pour mixture into sauce pan, and reheat over medium. Add the rest of the chicken broth and the cream, slowly stirring in to desired consistency. Bring to a boil, and adjust for seasons with the Apple cider vinegar. I added in some of the adobe sauce for added spice. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, and a sprinkling of fresh sage.

Serves 4 as a main course; 6 as a starter