"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Soupe de Courge à la Vanille

Okay guys, Thanksgiving is only 2 days away! And I don't know about you, but I'm super excited to host it this year. I have a friend in town that roomed with me and was also in my class at DLI back in 2003/04 and she's coming over to help me cook. We've had our menu planned for over a week, all of our shopping is done and I've been staring at the myriad of ingredients in my cabinets for days.

Finally today, the anticipation got the best of me (I know, big surprise) and I made one of the appetizers that I've been dying to try...Butternut Squash and Vanilla soup. I figured this was one item I could make 2 days early and it would still be yummy and fresh on Thursday.

Well, it turned out GREAT! It was so good in fact, that I had to have a bowl for dinner tonight. This is now officially permanently on my yearly Thanksgiving menu. I encourage you all to try it this year...it's really good.

Soupe de Courge à la Vanille

- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped out and cut in chunks
- Salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract/paste (preferably natural), or one pod dry vanilla, split open
-1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Serves 6.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add in the shallots and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes or until softened, stirring regularly. Add in the squash, season with salt and pepper, and cook for ten minutes, stirring from time to time. Pour in hot stock to cover the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla extract, or scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod and add in the pod itself as well. Cook for ten more minutes, or until the squash is tender. Fish out the vanilla pod if that's what you used (otherwise don't), and purée the soup in a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender. Once puréed to a smooth consistency, pour soup back in pot and stir in heavy cream. Serve hot and enjoy!

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