Winter Squash Potage with Spiced Créme Fraiche

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For soup

3 pounds winter squash (such as kabocha, acorn, or butternut), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, chopped (2 cups)
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 quart vegetable stock, or water
½ cup apple cider or apple juice
Freshly ground black pepper

For bouquet garni

1 small handful celery leaves
3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
One 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves

For spiced créme fraiche

&frac12 cup créme fraiche or sour cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground cinnamon
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with the oil, season lightly with salt, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning several times, until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, in a heavy, 3 to 5 quart soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Stir in the ginger and garlic, cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice and lowering the heat if necessary to keep the vegetables from browning. Pour in the stock or water, and the apple cider or juice, and add the roasted squash.

To make the bouquet garni, bundle the ingredients in a square of cheesecloth and tie it closed with kitchen twine.

Add the bouquet garni to the soup. Raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni and pass the soup through the fine holes of a food mill (or puree using an immersion blender or working in batches in a hand blender).

In a bowl, combine the créme fraiche with 5 or 6 gratings of nutmeg, several grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Serve the soup in bowls with a dollop of the spiced créme fraiche, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of parsley.

Stop and Take Stock.

Making a simple vegetable soup? Take stock of the trimmings, and the other vegetables you have on hand and consider simmering them into a flavorful broth to enhance the flavor and nutrient-content of your soup. In a stockpot, combine 6 cups of any of the following: squash and ginger peels, mushroom stems, cabbage cores, parsley stems, chopped carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, leeks, parsnips, fennel, and garlic (cut a whole heat in half crosswise, and leave the peels on). Add a couple bay leaves, and some fresh thyme, or sage, cover with water, bring to a simmer, skim off any foam that rises, then simmer gently, uncovered, for an hour. Strain and use right away or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

© Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Ginger Squash Cake

November 4th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recipe adapted from Susan G. Purdy

Makes 1 Bundt Cake

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
313 cups flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1½ cups sugar
1¼ cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup canola oil
5 large eggs, beaten
2 cups baked Sugar Pie pumpkin or Kabocha squash
23 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
Orange Ginger Glaze, recipe follows
Chopped walnuts, optional

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a Bundt pan with softened butter. Sift all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add sugars, canola oil and eggs, mix well. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Next, add pumpkin, buttermilk and ginger and combine. Pour all ingredients in the prepared Bundt pan and cook for 40 to 45 minutes (test with tooth pick, until it comes out clean). Cool and poke holes on top of cake for Orange Ginger Glaze. Drizzle glaze over top and add chopped walnuts. Serve once cooled.

Orange Ginger Glaze

INGREDIENTS

1½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 pinch salt
¼ tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
zest of one orange
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice

PREPARATION

In a medium-size bowl, add all ingredients and combine until pourable consistency.

Ginger Squash Cake

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