One of the simplest and most satisfying soups I have ever made is Fasuoli cu l’accia, a bean and celery soup. This soup was unknown to me in Calabria, but my husband enjoyed it regularly as a child growing up in Palermo. You would find this soup in many of Palermo’s homes at this time of year, and it is considered a dish of the cucina povera (cooking of the poor). The thought of combining beans and celery seemed a strange and unusual combination to my Calabrian palate, but last week when we were discussing comforting fall dishes, my husband recalled how much he loved when his mother would make Fasuoli cu l’accia.Read More
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As I promised you last week, here is my recipe for butternut squash soup, a dish that always shows up on our table on Thanksgiving day. It is extremely simple to make because it has only a few ingredients. If you can, make your own chicken or vegetable broth for it; it will make a world of a difference in the taste. Cut the butternut squash in large chunks, removing the seeds. Place the cut-up pieces in a baking dish along with an unpeeled onion cut in half vertically and an unpeeled head of garlic, with its top cut off to expose the cloves.
Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and drizzle with olive oil
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour or more until soft.
Once cool, using a spoon remove the squash pulp from skin and place in a food processor with the onion (remove outer skin) and squeeze as many garlic cloves as you like into the bowl.
Puree until smooth.
Place in a pot and thin it out with 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.
Sprinkle with a little bit of chopped parsley; or you can fry a few sage leaves and place them on top of the soup.
Enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!
Zuppa di Zucca
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
2 pounds butternut squash, unpeeled, seeds removed, cut into 10 pieces
1 unpeeled garlic head
1 large onion, unpeeled cut in half, vertically
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups (or more) chicken broth or vegetable broth
Minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut 1/3 inch off the top of the garlic head, exposing the cloves. Arrange the garlic, squash and onion cut side up in large baking dish. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil. Scatter the thyme over the vegetables.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Uncover the vegetables and cool for 10 minutes.
Scrape the squash from the skin into the processor work bowl. Peel outer layers and trim root end from onion halves. Add onion to processor. Separate 6 garlic cloves from head and squeeze the garlic in the bowl. Puree the vegetables until smooth. Add more roasted garlic if desired.
Transfer the puree to heavy large pot. Wisk in 2 cups of chicken broth. Stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more broth if thinner consistency is desired.
Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley. You can serve the soup with crostini (toasted bread) spread with the remaining roasted garlic.