This months Recipes to Rival challenge was Squash Soup with Vanilla Crème Fraiche as seen on Bravo TV's Top Chef a season or so ago. I have never had Squash soup before but it has intrigued me so I was glad of the opportunity. This recipe was just a series of discoveries for me.
The recipe as given is huge! and I do mean huge as one person put it 40 pounds of squash is a little much. I cut mine in 1/4th and used an acorn squash and 2/3rds of a pumpkin left over from the pumpkin Rendang (one of the perks of being a founder is I knew this challenge was coming.) I cheated a bit with the veggie broth, I started with canned and then personalized it. I was tempted to throw in some apple or pear peels but resisted, looking back I wish I had gone ahead.
The Mirepoix (had to look that one up on wikipedia) was fantastic, I kept coming up with other things I could use it for and wondering if I made a really big batch if I could freeze it. And the Miso was a revelation, there are definitely some possibilities there, glazed vegetable and I was thinking chicken (or turkey). Don't think I am quite ready for miso soup though.
I thought it was really clever to use a sage leaf to add flavor to the roasted squash. When it was done it was lovely and fragrant and almost made me say to heck with the soup, almost. I did not have a ricer or a decent immersion blender so I used my food processor. It worked sorta, (there were still little carrot flecks) but definitely good enough. At this point I froze half of the 'soup'.
There was alot of variation in soup thickness. I tried to get somewhere between porridge and broth, and ended up with something that was almost to thick to really be soup. Instead of Crème Fraiche, I used Greek yogurt with honey and vanilla.
I was disappointed. I am not sure if it was the veggy broth (not a big fan) the thickness, not being hot enough or me just really not being a fan of sour milk products. The whole time it was cooking I kept thinking bacon, and maybe some bacon crumbles or spiced nuts. I am letting it sit and trying it again, maybe I will thin it down a little more and add some more miso. We will see.