I received a wonderful gift the other day (proving once again that I have no shortage of special friends): two kuri squashes.  Unlike other members of the winter squash family, kuri has a thin skin that doesn’t require peeling.  It’s  a huge advantage, because peeling squash is one of my least favorite tasks in the kitchen.   Butternut squash is already bad, but acorn squash is worse.   I usually just cut it in half and roast it,  anything to keep my fingertips intact.   I knew exactly how to treat my Kuri squash, by turning it into a soup from Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table.  It was perfect for the chilly weather we faced in Los Angeles last week. The thermometers read 55 F, so Californians immediately retrieved their wool scarves from storage to brave the elements! 😉

(adapted from Around my French Table)

2 kuri squashes (about 3 pounds total)
1 leek stalk, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cups milk
3 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
dash of ground nutmeg
minced chives for garnish

Scrub the squash very well to remove any dirt from its surface. Cut the pointed end off, and discard it. Carefully cut it in half, scoop out the seeds.  Cut the squash in large chunks and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and saute the leeks until they get soft, no need to brown them.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Add the squash, the milk, water, and cook under gentle heat until the squash is tender (about 20 minutes).  Puree the soup using an immersion blender, season with nutmeg, taste, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  The soup can be cooked down if you want it thicker.   Serve with minced chives sprinkled on top.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  If you have an immersion blender this soup is a real breeze to make.  You can puree it in the same pan you cooked it, and have only the small appliance to wash afterward.  I’m fond of this type of blender because it allows me to better control the final texture of my soups.  Unless I’m going for a very smooth, bisque-type concoction I prefer  some texture, and with a blender or food processor things can get too smooth too fast.

We enjoyed this soup for several days and it got better while sitting in the fridge, so if you have a dinner party, making it the day before won’t be a problem.  You can always thin it with a little milk or water if necessary, but we tend to like our soup robust.

ONE YEAR AGO: Celery and Apple Salad

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