October 29, 2002
Butternut Squash Soup
posted by Nadia

We got inspired to make this soup after watching Michael Chiarello do it on TV. Our last attempt at butternut squash soup wasn't as successful as we had hoped -- the soup (which, I must admit, was little more than pureed butternut squash thinned with some stock) was a bit too sweet for our tastes and far too thick. Michael Chiarello's version, which includes sautéed leeks, Granny Smith apples, and a spice rub, tasted much more interesting and less like a dessert.

We followed the recipe pretty closely, but created our own spice rub with some coriander, cayenne pepper, white pepper, cumin, and ginger. While we only used about a teaspoon of the spice mix, the flavors came out fully when the soup was done, giving it an indescribable aroma somewhere between curry and pumpkin pie. There was a nice kick of acidity from the apples, which kept the soup from being cloyingly sweet. We did, however, add a bit of sweetness at the end by sprinkling on some chopped candied walnuts that provided a nice contrast to the soup's tangy flavor.