Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Starter

My favorite part to Thanksgiving dinner ... side dishes. I love the array of root veggies, real cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing. Yum! The turkey is good, but oh how I do love the side dishes. In honor of all the tasty things going alongside the turkey here's a wonderful soup to start out the meal.
Roasted Garlic & Acorn Squash Soup
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs. of acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Topping (optional): Sour cream, chopped chives
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim off the tips of garlic head so the tops of the cloves are slightly exposed. Place the head of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle on the olive oil, add a pinch of salt.
  3. Wrap it up tightly and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Once nicely roasted, set aside to cool.
  4. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. Add the leeks and saute until softened.
  6. Add the squash, orange zest, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Pour in the stock, bring it to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the squash is tender (about 20 minutes).
  10. Once squash is tender remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  11. In a blender, working in batches, puree the squash mixture and the roasted garlic cloves.
  12. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. In the center of each serving add a tablespoon of sour cream and a teaspoon of chopped chives. Ready to serve!
I'll be sure to include my local farmers on my list of things to be thankful for this year! I hope you will too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
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