Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside...

Nothing makes me happier on a cold winter night than a hot, steamy bowl of soup. I love how it warms you from the inside out and provides a great sense of comfort. Two years ago when planning our Thanksgiving dinner menu, we found a delish Butternut Squash Chowder recipe from Williams Sonoma that we've been serving up ever since then. It's always met with rave reviews and is perfect for any occasion.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

2 large butternut squash
2 T butter, melted
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage, plus small sage leaves for garnish
4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice butternut squash in half, length-wise, and place all four pieces on a cookie sheet. Brush squash with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until roasted, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

While squash is roasting, cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring frequently until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towellined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

After squash has cooled, remove the skin and puree in food processor. Add the puree and bacon to vegetable mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves.


Rach said...

MMM. I was going to make some pumpkin soup this weekend but I might try this recipe!

Leslie said...

Just made this tonight - DELISH!!

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