October 3, 2008 -- Dos Caminos & James Beard House Featured Chef Ivy Stark prepares this autumn appetizer inside this Park Avenue Mexican Restaurant.
2 pounds butternut squash
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 leek, white part only, washed, cut lengthwise in half and sliced thinly
2 green apples, cored and diced 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 ½ cups apple cider
Freshly ground black pepper
Chipotle crème fraiche, for garnish
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place it on a baking pan and dot each half with 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with allspice. Roast in oven for 1 hour or until the squash is very soft. When it is done, remove from oven and cool slightly.
While squash is roasting, melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the onion, leek, apples and sage. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
Add the chicken stock and apple cider. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and discard, then scoop out the pulp. Add the pulp to the chicken stock mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup over moderate heat until it just reaches a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into hot soup bowls and garnish with chipotle crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.
For Chipotle Crème Fraiche:
1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 tablespoon adobo from a can of chipoltes in adobo
1 teaspoon salt
Whisk ingredients together until combined.
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