Make, refrigerate and let the flavors blend!
One of the best ways to start off your Thanksgiving dinner is a simple soup. This menu option is one that can be created in advance and crossed off the list with a sigh of relief. I think soup can be a meal in itself; original, seasonal and always satisfying! (If made correctly) Yes, it is like any thing you cook, if you don’t give it a bit of love you can screw it up. What I enjoy about making soup this time of year is the abundant supply of firm whole squash available. The numerous varieties, their taste and textures add to the creativity of anyone’s imagination. The following recipe is one you can produce with ease’ take pride in and if its your contribution to the family gathering, it taste better when it sits for a day or so and the flavors have time to come together. The garnish is a bit different, but don’t tell your guest, let them think it’s ……
Butternut Squash Soup Serves 6
Ingredients: Preheated Oven-350
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, optional
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1-2 cups water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Tofu cream for garnish (RECIPE FOLLOWS)
- Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Arrange the halves cut side down in roasting pan that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Bake squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until very tender.
- Set aside to cool. When the squash is completely cool, scoop the flesh from the skin.
- While the squash is baking, cook the onion and the ginger in the oil in a saucepan, over moderately low heat, for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened,
- Add the broth and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, covered.
- Add the squash pulp to the sauce pan. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, in batches, and puree until smooth. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to the sauce pan and cook over moderate heat until it is hot. Garnish each portion with the heaping teaspoon of “tofu-sour cream”.
Jalapeño Tofu Cream
1 pound of tofu, firm
2 tablespoons of brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of jalapeno or more if desired
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Water or Vegetable stock to blend, about 1/3 cup
1 bunch of chives, sliced thinly
- Steam or simmer tofu for 3 minutes. Then blend with remaining ingredients. Add chives as a garnish, minced fine.
Soup recipes are those that are passed down through the ages from family members and each member seems to add there own twist. I think this course is one of those that help’s to get you cooking, because as you master the art of making a great soup, even if it takes a bit of time, it opens you up to being in the kitchen and crafting something from the heart. What’s your favorite soup or where do you go for the best soup in town?
Ciao and thanks, Bernard