Feb 9, 2011

soup season

It's unfortunate. Our kitchen is often the coldest room in our house. On the really cold days, I have to bundle up if I'm going to hang out in there. But lately I've come up with a new strategy. If I want the kitchen to warm up, I make soup! Big pots simmering on the stove quickly make the kitchen a much more pleasant place to be. Here are a few of our recent favorites:  
  • Corn Chowder. recipe (a great way to use last summer's canned or frozen corn)
  • Curried Pumpkin Soup.recipe
  • Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika.recipe(made with the last of our Dark Red Norland potatoes) 
  • Winter Squash Bisque (see recipe below)
    Next up will be Potato Leek Soup, or maybe Cheese and Potato Soup

    Here's the recipe for Winter Squash Bisque, adapted from Hay Day Country Market Cookbook by Kim Rizk

    4 Tbsp butter
    1 onion, chopped
    2 carrots, coarsely chopped
    2 large ribs celery, coarsely chopped (or 1/2 tsp celery seed)
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 lbs squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice (I used butternut, but other varieties of squash would work well too)
    4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
    1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
    1/2 tsp ground allspice
    2 Tbsp Calvados or other apple brandy (I left this out because I didn't have any)
    salt + pepper to taste

    1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute just until the garlic begins to color, about 10 minutes. Stir in the squash and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the squash is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

    2. Transfer the contents of the soup pot to a blender, in batches if necessary, and puree. Return the puree to the pot, place it over medium heat, and stir in the thyme, allspice and Calvados. Bring to a gentle simmer, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.