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Winter Squash Potage

23 September 2009

This savory winter squash soup recipe is based on a recipe for potage, a puréed vegetable soup from France. There are as many different recipes for potage as there are cooks, so you should feel free to substitute like quantities of similar vegetables. Part of the fun for the eater is guessing which vegetables the cook as chosen for the soup.

Note: If you care about things like authenticity, the traditional way to purée potage is to use a food mill or Chinese hat strainer. I also think food mills give the most satisfying and consistent results. The risk with food processors and blenders is that the soup will either be too smooth (or even gluey) if you over-blend it or too chunky if you under-blend. Soup that’s been passed through a food mill has a uniform texture with tiny bits of the vegetables throughout.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 4 large potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 large butternut or other winter squash (about 3 lb./1.5 kg), peeled, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1⁄2 gallon (2 l) milk
  • 1 1⁄4 cup (300 ml) heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • Finely chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large soup pot or kettle, heat the butter over medium high heat. Sauté the onions, carrots and celery until the onions are tender and translucent.
  2. Add the potatoes and the squash and stir to mix. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the milk, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until squash and potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.
  5. Purée soup in blender, food processor or food mill. Depending on the size of your appliance, you can purée batches of 2 cups (500 ml) or so at a time and then mix all the batches together and reheat if necessary.
  6. Season to taste and stir in nutmeg if desired.
  7. Whisk in cream just before serving. Garnish each bowl with parsley or chives if desired.

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time : 40 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

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