Baby, it’s cold outside. Snuggle up with a bowl of this rich, sweet, filling soup, heaped with smoky chevre. Mmmmm.
1 large kabocha or medium butternut squash, about 4 lbs.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cups heavy cream
juice of one orange
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
fried sage leaves, for garnish*
4 ounces Haystack Mountain Applewood Smoked Chevre, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise, and place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until squash can be easily skewered with tip of a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. With a spoon, remove seeds and discard. Scrape the pulp and reserve in a bowl. Discard the skin.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the bacon is just turning golden, about 7 minutes. Add the squash and chicken stock, and simmer until the squash falls apart, about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
Working in small batches, puree the soup in a blender (don’t fill it more than half-way, or the hot soup can explode from the container) until very smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or chinois into a clean stockpot, and add the cream and orange juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of stock or water, and reheat if necessary
Ladle the soup into hot bowls, and garnish with a drizzle of the olive oil. Crumble a bit of chevre over each bowl, garnish with *two sage leaves (fry them lightly in olive oil until crisp), and serve immediately.
©Laurel Miller, The Sustainable Kitchen ®, 1999.