Monday, December 24, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

10 first-course servings

5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, halved, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider, divided

2/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrots, celery; saute until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme, and sage. Add broth and 1 cup cider; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider.

(Soup and cider cream can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold,then cover and keep refrigerated. Cover cider cream and chill. Bring soup to a simmer before continuing.)

Mix whipping cream into soup. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

From The 2006 Bon Appetit Cookbook

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