Friday, December 14, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CIDER CREAM
From Bon Appetit and Tested in Alice Wootton’s Kitchen

Apples and apple cider lend a pleasant sweetness to this beautiful soup. The Lost River Market & Deli's produce department is brimming with lovely produce. Save this soup for a special occasion. It's the best butternut squash soup you'll ever taste! It can be made in advance too.

5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives. Serves 10.

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