Friday, April 15, 2011

butternut squash and apple soup/carmelized onion and blue cheese bruschetta

It's funny. I've been blogging so infrequently these past few months that everything is cycling back around. I've still never written up my Hanukkah latkes or my Christmas prime rib, and Easter and Passover are just around the corner. Similarly, this dinner was something I whipped up when my good friend Faye was in town back in December, and she'll back in New York late next week!

Faye was my roommate in college for two years, but after graduation she pulled a bit of a disappearing act when she joined the peace corp and ran off to Morocco for two and a half years. When she came for a visit in December, it was the first time I'd seen her since May of 2008!

In honor of Faye's return, I hosted a small dinner at my apartment with a couple of our friends. It was a light meal, just a nice butternut squash and apple soup with some crostini with caramelized onions and crumbled blue cheese. We also had some beets tossed in argan oil, which was a special gift Faye brought me from Morocco. I will try and tell you more about argan oil in a later post.

I used this Ina Garten recipe as a jumping off point for my soup, but I ended up adapting it quite a bit. I left out the curry powder and apple juice, subbing in my homemade chicken stock. I also roasted the butternut squash before adding it to the soup, in the hope that made the dish more flavorful.

To start, I cooked the onions in butter until nice and soft, and then added diced squash and apples, chicken stock and water. I let it all cook together for a half an hour or so, and then blended it to make it nice and creamy. This soup was a bit unusual just because it was so sweet, but it was definitely nice tasting.

As that was cooking, I slowly caramelized some onions in butter for my crostini. I toasted up a nice crusty loaf of whole wheat bread and while it was still warm I layered each slice with a large spoonful of onions and some crumbled blue cheese. This was easy and delicious, and went really well with the soup.

All in all, this was an easy and light dinner, but no one went home hungry and everyone was certainly happy to see Faye. However, I do think I'd like to try a more ambitious menu when she's back in town later this month!

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