Last week we had summer. This week we are back to chilly winter. Who knows what next week will bring?
Did you see this month’s Bon Appetit? The entire thing is devoted to comfort foods. You have to admit, when you are cold and hungry, comfort foods seem to reach right in and fix you up.
And what is more comforting that soup? Nothing except maybe chocolate.
This soup is every bit as good as it looks. Hubbard squash, granny smith apple, Texas sweet onions, and garlic cloves are roasted to bring out the flavors. Cream is stirred in to give it a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. Once the soup is finished a swirl of chipotle and cinnamon puree is added. The flavors are complex, bouncing between spicy, sweet, smoky and tart; all wrapped up in silky smooth, soothing soup bowl.
You can certainly cut down the richness of this soup by using milk, skim milk, or chicken broth. Just be sure to get enough liquid in it to keep it from being a puree but not so much that it is thin.
I recommend the Texas Sweet Onions for this. They have a milder flavor that becomes very complex during roasting.
My menu was:
- Roast Hubbard Squash and Apple Soup
- Artisan Raisin-Pecan Bread with organic butter
- Salad of Baby Herbs with homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- Red Grapes
It went together well, and the flavors complimented each other. The addition of bleu cheese to the salad would have been amazing, but my family does not like bleu cheese.
Roasted Hubbard Squash and Apple Soup with Cinnamon Chipotle Swirl
- 2 small hubbard squash, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
- 2 large Texas Sweet onions, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
- 2 Granny Smith apples (or other tart style apple), cut in chunks but not peeled
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- Olive oil
- 2 cup cream
- 3 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- salt to taste
- Agave to taste
- Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and toss lightly to coat. Bake at 450 until cooked and slightly caramelized. Stir often.
- Puree with a little of the half and half in a blender until smooth. Depending on the size and strength of your blender you may need to do it in batches.
- Add the puree back into the pan and whisk in the heavy cream and the rest of the half and half. Add butter.
- Warm slowly. The soup should be thick and silky, about the texture of heavy cream.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and Agave as needed.
Chipotle Cinnamon Swirl
- Take about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the soup and add 1/2 tsp. chipotle granules, or to taste.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of Vietnamese Cinnamon.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- Heat until the chipotle softens, but do not boil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Puree until smooth. Thin with some of the cream if necessary.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and drizzle the chipotle cinnamon swirl over the top, use a knife to swirl it into the soup. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil or cream randomly over the top and serve hot.
Images: c) marye audet 2009