Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the signature Tom, stuffing made to one’s liking, a variety of regional sides and garnish. And did I mention the reconstituted leftovers for days and weeks… But there’s a lighter side to the autumn menu that’s warm, satisfying and choked fully of wholesome goodness. Hence, a bowl of hearty soup served with your choice of salad and bread. Roasted squash, sweet potatoes and garlic create a colorful, aromatic and yummy harvest in a bowl. See recipe below. Try setting the table with swatches of burlap, wooden salt and pepper shakers and other rustic elements in keeping with the season. A personalized menu chalkboard is always a big hit with guests. Get creative on the side salad, and add an assortment of flat breads, artisan breads and breadsticks for visual interest. Consider adding spreads and infused dipping oils to the medley. And don’t forget a sweet ending, like a sliver of cheesecake with apricot topping, a scoop of pistachio ice cream, or a sampling of sugar cookies with a dollop of whipped cream and a splash of maple syrup.
Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato & Garlic Soup Recipe:
- 1 sweet potato, about 12 oz.
- 1 acorn squash
- 4 shallots
- Olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves unpeeled
- 3 ¾ cups chicken stock
- ½ cup light cream
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley or snipped chives to garnish
- Cut the sweet potato, squash and shallots in half lengthwise. Brush the flesh side with oil.
- Put the vegetables, cut sides down, in a shallow roasting pan. Add the garlic cloves. Roast in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes until tender and light brown.
- When cool, scoop the flash from the potato and squash halves, and put in a saucepan with the shallots. Remove the garlic peel and add the soft cloves to the other vegetables.
- Add the stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, partially covered. Stir occasionally until the vegetables are very tender.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. (If using a food processor, strain off the cooking liquid and reserve. Puree the soup solids with enough cooking liquid to moisten them, then combine with the remaining liquid.)
- Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season to taste, then simmer for 5-10 minutes until completely heated through. Ladle into warmed bowls, add a dollop of cream and swirl with knife, garnish and serve.
To our KNU neighbors and friends, have a blessed Thanksgiving!