Sunday, January 07, 2007

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Last evening I attended a lovely dinner party for epiphany (or Three King's Day, or Twelfth Night, or whatever you happen to call it.) The observation seems to be a bit more British or European, and other than the thematic food such as the fruit bread in lieu of King Cake, we really didn't do anything differently than a regular dinner party (except for the occasional greeting of "So, any epiphanies today?")

These dinners are always a pleasant evening full of great food, delicious wine, and terrific people who enjoy sitting down at a dinner table, having a formal meal like grownups, and talking and laughing late into the evening. The menu? A lovely salmon mousse (with lots of horseradish!), an antipasto salad, acorn squash soup with wild rice, Greek salad with feta and a nice lemon vinaigrette, asparagus tempura, glazed beets, carrots and parsnips in a delicious butter sauce, a delicate fish in stock wrapped around leeks and basil, chicken Marsala (one of my favorite dishes), amazing cranberry and walnut bread (not a quick, fruit bread, but full-on egg-glazed crown of noble bread) from our resident baker, and a delicate bread pudding with rum glaze for dessert.
My contribution? The roasted acorn soup which was, believe it or not, my first time making a squash soup from scratch. (Oakley's has spoiled me.) It was wonderful but I misread the recipe and grossly underestimated the time it would take. After three hours, when I finally finished it, I wondered where my afternoon had gone. I used acorn squash, onion, garlic, and a bit of ginger, thyme, and sage. The recipe I used didn't call for apples which is what I see in a lot of squash soup repcipes but I'm not always sure why -- this soup was very thick as it was. After roasting cooking and pureeing, I added maple syrup (couldn't stop *tasting* that Oakley's taste), cloves, and a tiny bit of cream. (All I had was Silk Soy Creamer for coffee but it was fine.) Instead of mixing in the rice per the recipe, we presented a spoonful on top of each bowl with a sage leaf. (I need to research cooking wild rice. The grain was cooked through, but split and curled which means overcooked to me.)

Thanks to our lovely hostess who organized dinner and assigned recipes -- it was a lovely night! I'm having a dab of soup for lunch along with the rest of the wild rice sauteed with mushrooms and maybe some sherry, chicken, and tomato. Next up in our group? Thai at my house!

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