November 6, 2013

Winter squash stars in sweet, savory recipes

(Continued from page 2)

1 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds)

1 extra-large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth or stock (homemade or store-bought), or more if you wish your soup to be a little soupier

11/2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more to taste

One 5-inch vanilla bean or a splash of pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes, then spread with the onion in a large roasting pan in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and ginger. Roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until fork-tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.

Transfer to a large soup pot. Add the broth, maple syrup and vanilla bean. Stir over medium-high heat just until the soup comes to a full boil.

Remove the vanilla bean. Carefully transfer the hot mixture to a food processor or blender and process for about 1 minute. (You may need to do this in batches.) Add a little more broth, salt, pepper and maple syrup if you wish.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish as you like (see The Junior’s Way). Let any leftover soup cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, tightly covered and enjoy within two days. Do not freeze this soup.

The Junior’s Way: Garnish the bowls of soup simply by scattering some diagonally sliced scallion greens on top. Or get a little fancier: Mix some sour cream with a bit of heavy cream, plus a drop or two of water. Put the mixture in a squeeze bottle or use a grapefruit spoon, and make a few white dots on the surface of the soup. Swirl the dots with a toothpick, creating your own unique design.

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