Here's an elegant squash soup recipe from "Home Made Winter" by Yvette van Boven (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 253 pages, $35), featured in today's Buffalo News.
Butternut crème with goat cheese cream & sage
For 20 small glasses. It’s quite a lot, I know. But it’s really nice for a small party. The soup freezes well, but the goat cheese cream doesn’t. If you serve the soup warm in regular bowls, it's enough to serve 6 people.
for the butternut crème
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small (6-oz / 170 g) can tomato paste
splash of white wine
3 cups (750 ml) vegetable broth
a few sprigs of fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the goat cheese cream
8 oz (200 g) cream cheese
2/3 cup (150 ml) soft, spreadable goat cheese (I use 1 small container of Cavour, but any soft goat cheese will do)
5 tbsp (75 g) butter
a few nice sage leaves
Make the butternut crème: Peel the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds, then dice it. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Fry the squash briefly, then add the tomato paste and stir well, sauteing until it exudes a sweet aroma. Douse with the wine, stir for a few seconds, then add the broth. Add the sage sprigs and lower the heat to low just as the broth begins to boil. Let simmer for about 35 minutes with the lid askew.
Make the goat cheese cream: Blend the cheeses in a food processor to make a smooth sauce. Fill a pastry bag (if you have one) with the cream or cover the processor bowl. Refrigerate until use.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth (or let it cool a bit, then transfer it in batches to a standing blender to puree). Continue longer than you think is necessary, so it becomes a soft and silky crème.
Let the crème cool to room temperature.
Make the garnish: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Carefully pour the clear part of the melted butter into a clean pan and discard the white solids at the bottom. Heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves in it for a few seconds. Let them drain on a paper towel.
(Keep the clarified sage butter. You can use it to fry just about anything. Very good!)
Right before serving, fill small glasses with the pumpkin crème. Carefully pipe the goat cheese cream on top. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use two spoons and flatten the cream with a knife.
Top with the fried sage and serve with a small spoon.
taggedFood and Drink