Current Issue » Dining » Vol. 7

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR SOUP

By Erin Hansen

It’s no secret that cold weather and hot soups go hand in hand ~ what’s better on a chilly day than a bowl of flavorful, satisfying soup? It’s a culinary hug, the food equivalent of our favorite blanket. And since winter is no time to skimp on comfort, we might as well indulge in some delightfully rich and hearty creations ~ we can worry about substituting skim milk for cream when summer comes around again…

Enjoy!

GINGERED PUMPKIN SOUP WITH GRUYERE CHEESE

A little sweet and a little spicy, this earthy pumpkin soup will surely keep you warm on those cool, dark days.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1.5 – 2 Pound Fresh Pumpkin, seed and skin removed, diced
1/2 Pound Yukon Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Ginger, minced
.5 Sweet Yellow Onion, sliced thin
4 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water
.25 Cup Orange Juice
.5 Cup Cream Sherry
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
4 Ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated, for garnish

Preparation:
Heat the butter over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the pumpkin, ginger, and potatoes. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the stock or water, orange juice, and sherry. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork (about 1 hour).

Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pot and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle Gruyere over individual portions and serve with a hearty bread.


CURRIED ACORN SQUASH-AND-APPLE SOUP

Yield: Makes 3 quarts

Ingredients:
2 medium acorn squash (about 3 pounds), halved
.25 cup butter or margarine
4.75 cups chicken broth, divided
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
.75 teaspoon ground red pepper
.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey

Preparation:
Place squash halves, cut side down, on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop out pulp, discarding shells; set pulp aside.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add 4 cups chicken broth, apples, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring often, 25 to 30 minutes or until apples and potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly (about 5 to 10 minutes).

Process squash pulp, apple mixture, and remaining .75 cup chicken broth, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Return purée to Dutch oven. Stir in whipping cream and honey, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


POTATO CHEDDAR SOUP WITH BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER

Ingredients:
2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. minced garlic (6 cloves)
2.5 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cups chicken stock or broth
8 oz. broccoli
8 oz. cauliflower
.75 cup milk
.75 cup whipping cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1 tsp. kosher salt
.25 tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation:
In a Dutch oven cook onions in hot oil and butter until soft and golden brown. Add garlic and continue cooking. Add potatoes, carrots, and chicken stock. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, separate broccoli into small flowerets (reserve) and tender stems, discarding tough stems. Coarsely chop tender stems. Core and separate cauliflower into small flowerets. Add broccoli stems and cauliflower to potato mixture. Cover; simmer 45 minutes. Add broccoli flowerets and cook, covered, for 15 minutes more. Add milk, cream, cheese, salt, and pepper to vegetable mixture. Lightly puree with immersion blender or use a potato masher until coarsely blended to desired texture. Add water, if needed, to desired consistency. Makes 8 servings

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