BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CRAB
Creamy, with a hint of sweetness, this soup will become a favorite for entertaining. You can freeze the soup base, then defrost it the night before you plan to serve it, which gives you lots of flexibility. You can also serve this soup as a light lunch with crusty bread.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apple (1 large apple)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
l/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup melted butter
Fresh Italian parsley or chopped chives for garnish
1. In a large stockpot, melt the 2 tablespoons butter and sauté the onion, apple, thyme, and ginger for 5 minutes, until the onion and apple are softened.
2. Add the squash and sauté for another 10 minutes, until the squash begins to soften.
3. Stir in the broth, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the squash begins to fall apart. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, or cool the soup and puree in a blender or food processor. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost before proceeding.
4. Add the cream and heat to serving temperature.
5. In a small bowl, toss the crabmeat with the Old Bay Seasoning and 1/2 cup melted butter. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the crab. Serve garnished with parsley or chopped chives, if desired.
Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead
A Year of Feasts to Celebrate with Family and Friends by Diane Phillips Harvard Common Press Hardcover; 288 pages; $26.95 Softcover: $14.95 ISBN: 0-7645-5734-3
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