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Monday, January 4, 2010

Golden Winter Soup

I have needed some inspiration lately in the kitchen. Spending so much time in the kitchen around the holidays made for some real burnout this past week and I needed something new to look forward to. I turned to an old Cooking Light issue (Jan/Feb 2008) and knew that the soup on the cover, Golden Winter Soup, would be perfect for this cold night. Surprisingly, the kids even ate it! I paired it with Rachel Ray's greek salad. Here's my adaptation of the delicious Golden Winter Soup:

Golden Winter Soup

3 tablespoons butter
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 good sized squash)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
4 Tbsp Agave or honey
freshly grated nutmeg, to tase (about 1/2 to 1 tsp)

12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
3 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, garlic, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Stir in half-and-half, agave or honey, and nutmeg. Cover and keep warm.

Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil bread slices 2 minutes or until golden. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Serve 2 bread slices with each serving. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

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