Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New England Squash Soup

Day 22: El Nino says Punxsutawney Phil is full of it

Last time I made this recipe I was actually living in New England, and in the dark cold winter New England Squash Soup would hit the spot. So, after a bright and sunny 60 degree Groundhog day up here in Seattle (Punxsutawney Phil doesn't know about El Nino) eating such a wintery soup seems a little weird. However this recipe is awesome and needed to be included in the month because it is basically completely fat-free (0k so there are like 2.5 grams of fat in the entire thing - pretty dang close). I think the key to this recipe is the garnish - it's what takes the soup from totally fine to really special - so I don't recommend skipping it. I got it out of that old standby of mine Moosewood Restaurant's Low Fat Favorites, with some slight adjustments (including switching out apple juice for white wine and a whole apple - worthwhile improvement I think):

New England Squash Soup

1 cup dry white wine (don't you love a recipe that starts that way!)
1/2 medium onion, diced - about 1 cup
2 celery stalks, diced
1 apple, cored and diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 small yellow skinned potato, cubed
3 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
3/4 cup lowfat milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot bring 1 cup of white wine to a boil. Add onions, celery, apples, and garlic and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetable soften, about 10 minutes. Add squash, potatoes, stock, thyme, bay leave, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until squash is cooked through.
While the squash cooks, simmer mushrooms in an uncovered skillet with soy sauce, 1/4 cup wine, and marjoram until the mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
When the squash is very soft puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a few of the sauteed mushrooms.

Jay's review:

5 yums (out of 5)! Even I am shocked by this...