Everyone's favorite winter harvest holiday is soon upon us and it's time to start lining up those Thanksgiving recipes. While some have tried and true favorites passed down from generation to generation, my family is slightly more A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) about the whole affair. Every year becomes an "exciting" opportunity to test out new dishes (some savored...some spit out) and pave the way for new traditions. We have however found that the best recipes often come from our local chefs. Hence, CTbites brings you the first in a series of Thanksgiving recipes from the Fairfield County chefs you know and love, starting with Executive Chef Jon Vaast of The Dressing Room. Enjoy!
Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Soup
c/o Executive Chef Jon Vaast of The Dressing Room
1 medium pumpkin
2 butternut squash
1 Spanish onion
2 quarts veg stock
1 cup cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper
2 honey crisp apples
1 ounce brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.) pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
2.) Split pumpkins and squash, remove seeds rinse and toast in the oven, seeds should take 10-15 minutes, lightly salt when ready.
3.) Roast pumpkins and squash face down with a touch of oil and salt for 40 minutes or until tender once cook remove skin.
4.) in a large pot sweat onions until tender, add pumpkin and squash to pot, veg stock, cream, milk, bring to a boil.
5.) using your blender purée the soup then season with nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper
For the garnish:
1.) clean the leeks by removing the stem, and top part (where it turns green) cut in half length wise, then in half again length wise, thinly slice the leeks and place into a small bowl of cold water, agitate and allow to sit for a few minutes to remove the dirt. Strain leeks with your hand leaving the dirty water behind, dry on a paper towel
2.) peel and small dice the apples, in a medium sauté pan sweat the leeks, once tender add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, touch of salt. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes
To plate, place 8 ounces of soup in a bowl with a generous scoop of apples in the middle, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds