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Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Homemade Apple Chips

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...The summer ends and we wonder who we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And today I passed the high school, the river, the maple tree
I passed the farms that made it
Through the last days of the century
And I knew that I was going to learn again
Again, in this less hazy light
I saw the fields beyond the fields
The fields beyond the fields

And the colors are much brighter now
It's like they really want to tell the truth
We give our testimony to the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer,
You can spin the light to gold.

from Dar Williams Lyrics
"The End Of The Summer"

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Ingredients for the homemade apple chips:
  • 2 large apples (Gala or Idared work well)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
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Ingredients for butternut squash soup:
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil  
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots 
  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock, warmed, plus more as needed
  • 1 butternut squash (midium size), peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. curry
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • small sage leaves for garnish
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Directions for homemade apple chips:

Preheat oven to 200˚F.
Thinly slice apples crosswise about 1/8-inch thick with a mandoline or sharp knife. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets.
In small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Put mixture into a sieve and sprinkle evenly over apple slices.

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Bake in the top and bottom third of the oven until apples are dry and crisp, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and let ‘chips’ cool completely before transferring to a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Makes about 2 cups apple chips.

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Directions for butternut squash soup:

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squash, the carrots, potato, broth and the 1/2 tsp. salt, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

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Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

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In a blender or food processor, puree the soup, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream. Heat the soup until just hot, then stir in the curry and adjust the seasoning with salt. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with small sage leaves.

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