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Buttercup Squash & Leek Soup with Herb Butter

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 29
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour
  Yields 12 cups (Serves 12)
Buttercup squash has a lovely earthy flavor with a taste similar to sweet potatoes. Butternut squash, with a subtle sweet flavor and bright orange flesh, is also delicious and may be used instead.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
For the Herb Butter:
1 shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup dry sherry
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
For the Soup:
4 cups chopped, well-washed leeks, white part only (about 3 large)
8 cups 1-inch cubes seeded peeled buttercup squash (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2  1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper; more to taste
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
Buttercup Squash & Leek Soup with Herb Butter Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
MAKE THE HERB BUTTER: Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and heat to release their aroma and lightly toast them, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the sherry. Set the pan back on the heat and reduce the liquid to 2 Tbs., about 8 min. Let cool.

In a small mixing bowl, blend the butter, chives, sherry-shallot mixture, salt, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and spread the butter 1/4 inch thick to cover about 8x6 inches. Cover and chill. With a small cookie cutter (I use a star) or a knife, cut out 12 small shapes. Wrap in plastic and freeze. Freeze any remainding butter separately for another use.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Butter can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.


MAKE THE SOUP: Put the leeks in a heavy-based nonaluminum, 8-qt. stockpot. Put the squash over the leeks; add the wine and stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until the squash is fork-tender, about 25 min. Let cool 15 min. Add the salt and pepper; purée in a blender (or food processor).


DO-AHEAD TIP: Cover soup and refrigerate up to 3 days ahead, or freeze up to 1 week ahead.


TO SERVE: Defrost the butter shapes. Reheat the soup over low to medium heat, stirring frequently (or in a microwave). Ladle the hot soup into shallow bowls and garnish with herb butter and fresh chives.


Serving size = 1 cup


Recipe reprinted by permission of Fine Cooking Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Yields 12 cups (Serves 12)
Calories: 226
Fat. Total: 16g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 16g
Sodium: 1745mg
% Cal. from Fat: 64%
Cholesterol: 41mg
Protein: 5g
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