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Farm Fresh: Soup a dazzling finish to season

Thursday, November 14, 2002

By Betsy Kline, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Soup and bread can be just the ticket when you don't feel like slaving over an entree and side dishes.

Butternut Squash Soup Swirled With Red Bell Pepper Puree is a stunner. This beautiful soup is simple as can be and absolutely luscious, with or without the puree. It also can be served as a first course to an autumn meal. Just don't forget the bread or rolls to sop up that last golden smear.

Butternut Squash Soup Swirled With Red Bell Pepper Puree

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, see note
  • 4 sprigs parsley, for garnish, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the celery and onion and cook over low heat until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Take care not to brown the vegetables.

Add the squash and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the squash is mashable. Remove and let cool enough to handle.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan, stir in the salt and white pepper to taste and keep warm over very low heat.

Rinse the food processor bowl and puree the roasted peppers and their juices into a smooth paste. Transfer to a small saucepan or microwavable bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup water, whisk to mix and heat briefly.

To serve, divide the soup among 4 large soup bowls. Spoon a big dollop of the roasted pepper puree into each bowl and swirl it around with a toothpick or knife to create a design over the top of the soup. Garnish each bowl with a parsley sprig and serve while warm. Makes 4 servings.

Smith & Hawken "Gardeners' Community Cookbook"

Betsy Kline can be reached at bkline@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1408.

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