By Chef Mario
This fall delicacy was adapted from a recipe used every year at a famous top rated NYC restaurant that shall remain nameless. The Musque de Provence squash used is sweetened with honey and cider, and balanced out by the nuttiness of the browned butter. It can be used as a soup, but also as a sauce to be paired with pasta such as cheese ravioli or crab cakes.
This recipe looks daunting, but is quite simple, and is done in four steps:
1. Roasting the squash
2. Cooking the remaining vegetables
3. Adding the liquids and squash to the vegetables
1 approx. three-pound piece of Musque de Provence squash
1 leek, sliced thinly across the grain
1 stalk of celery, sliced thinly across the grain
½ tart apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 pint apple cider
2 oz. butter
Honey (a couple tbs)
Salt & pepper to taste
- Rub whole squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a small roasting pan or large sauté pan, flesh side down.
- Add a half inch of water and cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees until very tender, possibly an hour or more, careful not to burn.
- Remove from heat. When cool, scoop out flesh and set aside, discarding skin. Save the water.
- In a heavy bottom stock pot, slowly sweat leeks, celery and apple in olive oil or butter. Add a small amount of water, just enough to cover. With a lid securely on top, cook on low heat until vegetables are very tender (i.e., you can squish it with your fingers).
- After vegetables are soft, add the cooked squash, cider, and enough water to completely cover (including the reserved squash liquid). Add a branch of sage to be remove later (if desired). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Now, the fun part: an immersion (stick) blender will work, but a regular blender will work too. Just be very careful when blending hot liquids. Tragedy can strike suddenly and leave you with a messy kitchen or a burnt face.
- Brown the butter in a small sauté pan or sauce pan. Little black flecks are ok, just don’t annihilate it.
- Remove sage. In very small batches, blend mixture together, seasoning to taste, and adding a little honey and a little butter each time (with a stick blender, this can be done all at once in the same pot).
- Combine all blended soup together, stir, and adjust seasoning. Add more honey if desired. Consistency can be adjusted by adding water or returning to the stove and reducing to desired thickness.
Monk or Blackfish
Toasted nuts or seeds
Pilsner or lager