Sunday, December 30, 2012

Butternut Squash Velouté

This the season to eat SQUASH! One of my favorite is the butternut. It is great, just roasted, pureed, or in soups! And what is better than a warm cup of soup when it's cold outside? Okay, maybe a nice chimney fire and someone rubbing your feet while you drink some hot cocoa, but that's besides the point. 
We're talking about food here...

I make this velouté in many ways, and it always varies depending on what I have in the fridge and pantry. Velouté is French for a "velvety" soup/sauce where all the ingredients are heated and blended together to make a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I usually don't use beer, but in this one I figured, Why not? I realized using a dark beer gives it a bit of a smoky tang which I enjoyed. You can also add carrots, or other vegetables. Explore with your taste buds, cooking is suppose to be fun!

Here's what you'll need:

2 tablespoon butter
1 beer (preferably a dark beer)
1 butternut squash
1 teaspoon sage
1 Coriander leaf
salt and pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large garlic glove
1 cup chicken stock (you can also just use water)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup parmesan

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil,
salt and pepper, and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While that is roasting in the oven, in an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter melt over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. When the squash is fully roasted, add it in, along with the beer, coriander leaf, and chicken stock. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Take out the coriander, and turn off the heat.

Take out the Coriander leaf

Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick (you can also use a blender, and then pour the mixture back into the pot when done). 

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat. Add the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and parmesan to the mixture and stir. 

Butternut Squash Veloute

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a cheese or garlic crostini or a touch of heavy cream on top.

Enjoy that warm cup of soup, and don't be afraid to ask for a foot rub in front of the fireplace.

-Chef Cat

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