Butternut Squash

Agata says:

Here is a simple preparation for butternut squash soup that is both homey and elegant. You can serve it at a holiday meal or enjoy it for supper any night of the week. It is delicious with thin slices of toasted Poilane bread (available at our Bread counter) spread with good butter.

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
4 lg. shallots, chopped
4 tbs. sweet butter + 1 tbs. more
¼ cup fruity wine (or Calvados, the apple brandy from France, if you have)
1 qt. A&V chicken stock, warmed
2 cups water
1 dried bay leaf
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
¼ cup Apple Balsamic vinegar
pinch sea salt & ground white pepper
For Garnish (optional) Crème Fraiche

Directions

Preheat oven to 475.
Cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place squash halve cut side down on roasting pan. Cook about 45 minutes until tender. Scoop flesh out and reserve.

Saute shallots in butter over medium heat about 3 minutes. Add wine or Calvados, increase heat and stir around about 1 minute, letting alcohol evaporate. Bring heat back down to medium and add reserved squash flesh. Stir mixture, mashing down with a potato ricer. Add chicken stock, water and bay leaf, stir again, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium/low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, sauté apple slices in butter over medium/low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add to soup and continue to cook another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with splash of apple balsamic vinegar, sea salt and white pepper to taste. Continue to stir, remove bay leaf and puree soup either with immersion blender or in food processor.

Pour into individual serving bowls and garnish with dollop of crème fraiche and pinch of chopped chervil or parsley.
Serves 8- 12