Soup Season’s Here: Win A KitchenAid Blender
Photograph by Alan Richardson
BEATRIX’S RED KURI SOUP
Adapted from Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan/photographs by Alan Richardson
For the soup:
1 red kuri squash, about 3 pounds
3 slender or 1 1/2 larger leeks, white part only, trimmed, split lengthwise and washed
3 cups whole milk
3 cups water
Salt, freshly ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
For the garnish (optional):
1 tart apple, peeled, cored and cut into tiny dice
About 1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
About 1/2 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
To make the soup: Scrub the red kuri squash under water, using a brush, if necessary, to scrape off any stuck-on dirt. With a heavy chef’s knife, cut off the pointy tip of the squash, then cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and the strings that bind them, then cut the squash into 1- to 2-inch chunks, shell and all. Toss the squash into a large casserole or Dutch oven. Cut the leeks into inch-thick slices and put them in the pot, too. Add the milk and water, salt generously and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the soup about 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft enough to mash when pressed lightly with the back of spoon.
Using a hand-held immersion blender, a standard blender or a food processor, puree the soup until it is very smooth. Depending on how much liquid boiled away, you may have a thick soup and a decision to make: leave it thick (I do) or thin it to whatever consistency pleases you with either more milk or more water. Taste for salt and season with pepper and nutmeg. Heat the soup if it’s cooled in the blender or if you’ve thinned it – this soup is at it’s best truly hot.
Serving: If you’re using the apples and nuts, spoon some into the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle over the hot soup; top with a little cream.
Storing: The soup will keep for up to 4 days in a covered jar in the refrigerator (it will thicken as it stands, so you might want to thin it when you re-heat it) and for up to 2 months packed airtight in the freezer.
Bonne Idée: There are so many flavors that go well with this soup that you can make the basic soup and serve it several different ways. You can top the soup with olive-oil sautéed bread cubes – toss some shredded sage into the skillet along with the bread; thin slices of toasted baguette sprinkled with grated cheese and run under the broiler – use a nutty cheese like Gruyere or Emmenthaler, or a blue cheese like gorgonzola or Roquefort; or sauté some cooked chopped chestnuts (you can use bottled chestnuts) in a little butter or oil, season with salt and pepper, chopped fresh thyme or sage, and either spoon a little over the soup or, better yet, over the crème fraiche, if you’re using it.
Another Bonne Idée: Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup. If you’re intrigued by the flavor combination of squash and chestnuts, the pair that come packed together in potimarron and red kuri squash, but you can’t find either squash, you can use butternut squash – choose one that’s 3 pounds, remove the rind and cut the flesh into small cubes – and add 7 ounces of shelled chestnuts to the mix. You can use jarred or vacuum-packed chestnuts. Look for packs of chestnut pieces – they’re perfect for purees and less expensive than intact nuts.