Recipe: Butternut squash soup with curried pecans, apple and goat cheese
1½ tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup Curried Maple Pecans ( recipe on page 2), chopped
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tart apple, like Pink Lady, finely chopped
12 whole sage leaves
1 Make the soup: In a large pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions, plus salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently, for 12 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Add the squash and cook 5 minutes, stirring well. Raise the heat to high, add the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender when tested with a small, sharp knife. Let cool slightly.
2 Working in batches, puree the soup in the container of a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pot and keep warm over low heat. (The soup can be made a day ahead of time, covered and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months.
3 Place the hot soup in serving bowls and top with some of the chopped pecans, goat cheese, apple, and sage leaves. Serve any remaining pecans, cheese, or apples on the side.
Add chopped ripe pear instead of apple.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro to the soup with the broth and sprinkle another tablespoon on top just before serving.
Sauté the apple slices in1 tablespoon butter for 1 to2 minutes on each side, or until just turning golden brown. Curried maple pecans
Makes 1 cup
We like to serve these sweet and slightly spicy nuts with cocktails, cheese platters, sprinkled over salads, and in Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Pecans, Apples, and Goat Cheese. Make a double or triple batch to have some on hand for last-minute entertaining, or to bring as a house gift.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¹⁄8 teaspoon salt
Generous grinding freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (3½ ounces) pecan halves
¼ cup maple syrup
1 In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the curry, ginger, salt, and pepper, stirring well to mix the spices into the butter. Let cook 2 minutes.
2 Add the pecans and cook another 2 minutes. Pour the maple syrup on top and, stir¬ring frequently, cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the syrup has thickened a bit and the nuts look glazed.
3 Pour the nuts onto waxed or parchment paper or foil, being careful to separate them, as they tend to clump together. When cool, move the nuts to a well-sealed container in a cool spot.
Try this recipe using a mixture of nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, etc.
Add a dash of cayenne pepper along with the curry and gin¬ger for a slightly spicy bite.
Substitute a flowery honey, such as orange blossom, for the maple syrup.
Add 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin with the curry and ginger.
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Excerpted from Stonewall Kitchen Winter Celebration: Special Recipes for Family and Friends. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2009 by Jonathan King, Jim Stott and Kathy Gunts. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.