Yellow Squash Soup with Scallion Salad
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Champe Speidel tops his delicate squash soup with garnishes that are so delicious, they could be eaten on their own.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound small yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 6 scallions, white and tender green parts only
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 3/4 cup finely grated Manchego cheese (2 ounces)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tablespoon minced tarragon
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup finely diced peeled cucumber
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the yellow squash and bay leaves and cook over moderate heat for 8 minutes. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Simmer just until the squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan. Rub the scallions with 1 teaspoon of the oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Let cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
- Transfer the squash and 1/2 cup of the broth to a blender and discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup and blend in the buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm or refrigerate until cold.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Spoon twelve 2-inch-wide mounds of the Manchego into the skillet; cook over moderate heat until browned on the bottom. Off the heat, flip the cheese crisps. Return to the heat and cook until browned. Transfer the crisps to a rack and let cool.
- Add the tomatoes, tarragon, parsley, cucumber, lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the scallions and toss. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the scallion salad. Serve the soup warm or chilled with the cheese crisps.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.