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Savory Squash Soup
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Scoop out the seeds and discard.
Brush squash with melted butter and season.
Bake the squash in a roasting pan until tender, about 1 hour.
Sauté the onions over low heat. Do not allow to brown.
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Savory Squash Soup

Makes 2 quarts

Fall and winter squash have a long season and are easily stored for months on end. Because our customers love it so much, we have this soup on the menu at Spago six months out of the year. The soup can be served warm or cold. For the vegetarian, the soup can be made with a vegetable stock.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 butternut squash (about 3-3/4 pounds)
  • 1 acorn squash (about 1-3/4 pounds)
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 white onion (about 4 ounces), peeled, trimmed, and finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock, heated
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil

Garnish:

Cardamom cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon black cardamom seeds
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut each squash in half and discard the seeds. Brush cut sides with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange the squash cut side down in a roasting pan and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool, scoop out the insides of the squash, and purée the flesh in a food processor. Reserve. (You should have about 4 cups of puréed squash.)
  3. In a medium stockpot, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Over low heat, sauté the onion. Do not allow it to brown. Add the puréed squash and cook over very low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not allow it to bubble up. Season with the salt, pepper, ginger, and cardamom.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, still over low heat, stirring often. Cook about 20 minutes.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the rosemary sprig. Remove the rosemary and pour the cream into the soup. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process, in batches, for 2 or 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Note: If desired, bake small squash until tender, scoop out, and use as individual serving bowls.

Presentation

Make the cardamom cream: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of heavy cream and the cardamom seeds to a boil. Reduce until only 1/4 cup remains. Strain through a wire sieve and allow to cool. Add flavored cream to the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form.

To serve, ladle the soup into heated bowls. Place a tablespoon of cranberry relish in the center, top with a dollop of cardamom cream, then sprinkle with chopped caramelized pecans. Drizzle pumpkin seed oil over soup.
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