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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Butternut Squash and Leek Soup with Truffle Oil

The weather is not really cold, but there is definitely a change of mood in the air.. which inevitably implies change of season.  I wasn't ready for this, but sometimes time just taps you on the shoulder, giving you a mega wake up call.
Today was one of those days.. and to drown it out, I wanted to nourish my soul with something healthy but hearty as well as indulging.  This soup is exactly that.
Anything involving butternut will be hearty and healthy, but the addition of that black truffle oil takes it out of the box.  You can see it a bit in the photo.. drizzled on with a delicate hand...mine.
If nothing else can feel comforting, this may make its way into your heart..
Serves 4
1 butternut squash, sliced lengthwise and seeded
2 leeks, tender parts thinly sliced crosswise
3 Tbsp EVOO
3 sprigs fresh savory (sarriette)
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried piment d'espelette (or other chile powder)
pinch fleur de sel
ground pumpkin seeds
dollop greek or turkish yogurt (optional if vegan)
drizzle truffle oil
1.  Heat your oven to 190°C 375°F.  Place the butternut squash halves face down on a baking tray and cook for about 40 minutes.
2.  While that is happening, heat the olive oil in a pot and cook the sliced leeks along with the savory sprigs, stirring, for about 10 minutes.  They should soften and start to stick to the pot.
3.  Deglaze with balsamic vinegar, then add just enough of the broth to cover.
4.  Scoop the butternut flesh out of the halves (being careful not to burn yourself like I did) and add them into the pot along with the black pepper and piment d'espelette.
5.  Add more broth to level.  Bring to a boil, then simmer another 5 minutes.
6.  Remove from heat and puree the contents.  I used an immersible blender for several reasons: to avoid burning myself even more, and to avoid having unnecessary dishes to wash.  That last reason is probably the most important one.
7.  Put back on low heat.  Taste and add salt if needed.  It should be velvety and delicious.

Serve with some ground pumpkin seeds, a pinch of fleur de sel, a dollop of yogurt, and most importantly, a health drizzle of truffle oil.
There's something about that truffle oil that just pairs so magnificently with squash.  I've drizzled it on a squash pizza before and it elevated me to a whole other dimension of pleasure.
This makes the soup refined while still keeping its integrity.  No flavor masking.. flavor enhancing!
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