Today's guest is full of talent and stories. Join Jen Bunch to learn about no-till farming, a Frenchman knighted for his baking skills, and the best way to cook bacon. She shares a delicious tried-and-true menu that includes a soup she's made for 15 years. Jen gives great advice for hosting guests as well as her newest cleaning secret. Stay tuned for her must-have kitchen items! (Visit comeoverfordinner.com for the recipe, product links, and more!)
Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme Servings: 8-10 (adapted from Epicurious)
Soup: Approximately 3 pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, fibers and seeds removed 6 slices of bacon, chopped 2 large yellow onions, chopped 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme 5 ¼ cup chicken stock ⅓ cup heavy cream Pinch of cayenne pepper (approximately 1/16 teaspoon) Salt and pepper to taste Serve with: Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket or Balsamic Quick-Braised Pork Chops Mashed or potatoes roasted in beef juices Mixed salad greens with pomegranate seeds, orange slices, sliced red onion, pomegranate white wine vinaigrette Bread Nectarine and Plum Crisp with Oatmeal Streusel served with ice cream or whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a baking pan, place the squash cut sides down. Add water to the pan to the depth of ¼ inch. Bake until the squash is tender, about 50 minutes. Let cool, then use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin. You will need 3 ¾ cups for this soup.
3. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, saute the bacon until the fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the onions and thyme and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. Working in batches, transfer the onion mixture and the squash to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Use some of the chicken stock with each batch if needed to make a very smooth texture.
5. Return the puree to the saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir in any remaining chicken stock. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
6. Stir in the cream. Add the cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with additional stock to the desired consistency.
( Can use chuck roast in this recipe in place of brisket roast)
(Can use pork loin cut in 1-inch slices in place of bone-in pork chops)
(Can use Better than Bouillon Premium Roasted Chicken Base in place of chicken demi-glace)
(Golden raisins can be optional. Can use all-purpose flour in place of whole wheat flour.)
(Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.)