An Elegant Tasting Winter Squash Cream Soup For The Holiday Season!
Banana Squash are huge and they can weigh over 20 pounds. Most food market produce clerks will cut a big banana squash into manageable size pieces by request. This winter squash has a nice semi-sweet flavor that tastes nice in a cream soup. Banana Squash also tastes nice with the light savory flavor of white asparagus.
White asparagus is always cut to size, like spears, then it is peeled and a large piece of thick stalk is leftover. The thick stalks are most often used to make soup. The peelings are usually discarded. Using asparagus stalks to make a puree cream soup reduces food cost and the flavor is exceptionally nice.
Some extra thick white asparagus stalks are too tough and fibrous to be used in a puree soup recipe. If the extra thick asparagus stalk ends are too fibrous, it is best to discard them or the puree soup will have a grainy texture.
Today's soup is very easy to make. A blender, food processor or blending wand can be used to puree the soup. The puree soup can be passed through a fine mesh strainer for a refined texture or it can be served as it is. The flavor of Banana Squash and White Asparagus Crème Soup will certainly please guests on a chilly day!
This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of roux.
Making a large batch of roux is easy. For today's recipe, only a small amount of roux is needed for thickening 3 cups of soup. The extra roux can be refrigerated up to 7 days and it can be used to make many recipes.
Step 1: Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 4 ounces of unsalted butter.
Allow the butter to melt.
*If excess watery milk fats are present, simmer till the liquid evaporates.
Step 2: Add an equal volume of flour, while constantly stirring with a whisk. (About 1/2 cup)
*The roux should look like a very thick shiny liquid. The roux should not look dull, opaque and caky. Adding too much flour is a mistake that many cooks make. The proportion of flour to butter can only be adjusted in the first 30 seconds when making roux!
Step 3: Constantly stir till the roux while it cooks. Stir till the roux turns a pale whitish yellow color with no hazelnut aroma.
Step 4: Remove the pot from the heat.
Transfer the roux to a metal or ceramic container.
Set the roux aside or chill the roux for later use.
White Asparagus and Banana Squash Crème Soup:
This recipe yields about 3 cups!
Step 1: Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped peeled celery.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
Gently sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
Step 2: Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
Add 2 cups of milk.
Add 1/4 cup of cream.
Add 3/4 cup of small chopped peeled seeded banana squash.
Add 3/4 cup of small chopped peeled white asparagus stalks. (The leftover stalks from cutting white asparagus spears.)
Step 3: Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
Add 1 small pinch of cardamom.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground fenugreek.
Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
Step 4: Raise the temperature to medium heat.
Bring the soup to a gentle boil.
Step 5: Add just enough white roux, while stirring with a whisk, to thicken the milk broth to a very thin consistency. (The soup will simmer and reduce to a thicker consistency later in the recipe.)
Step 6: Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Simmer the soup, till the asparagus and squash become very tender.
Step 7: Remove the pot from the heat.
Use a blender, food processor or blending wand to puree the soup.
Step 8: Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a sauce pot.
Place the sauce pot over medium low heat.
Simmer and reduce the soup, till it becomes a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon. (The volume should be about 3 cups.)
Keep the soup warm over very low heat.
Ladle the soup into a wide shallow soup bowl.
Float 3 cilantro leave on the surface of the soup in a flower pattern.
Float 1/4 teaspoon of brunoise sweet mini red bell pepper on the soup in middle of the cilantro leaf flower pattern. (Brunoise = 1/8" dice)
This crème soup is gentle tasting and satisfying on a chilly day!