This silky butternut squash soup from chef Jennifer Jasinski gets depth of flavor from nutty brown butter and the North African spice blend ras el hanout.
Slideshow: Warming Recipes
1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout spice blend (see Note)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
One 3-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shaved cheese for
1/2 ounce crushed amaretto cookies (3 small cookies), plus more for garnish
6 small sage leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, toast the ras el hanout over low heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the sugar and stir until the butter melts. Add the squash and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, grated cheese and the 1/2 ounce of crushed cookies.
In a blender, working in 2 batches, puree the soup until smooth. Strain the soup into a clean saucepan. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the sage and cook over moderate heat until the butter is golden brown and the sage is toasted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with some of the sage brown butter. Garnish with cheese shavings and crushed amaretto cookies and serve.
Ras el hanout, the fragrant North African spice blend, is available at supermarkets. Look for McCormick's blend.
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