SQAUSH AND CARROT SOUP TOPPED WITH YOGURT, PARSLEY, LEMON ZEST, AND BACON

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 carrots, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1/2 onion, diced

a least 2 big pinches of salt

a few turns of pepper

1 anchovy fillet (optional)

1 teaspoon tomato paste

4 cloves garlic

1 cup white wine

2 large squash or 3 medium (butternut, pumpkin, kabocha or anything similar)

4-6 cups chicken stock

1-2 cups water

2 sprigs thyme

squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

splash of vermouth (optional)


toppings:

bacon

Greek yogurt

chopped parsley

lemon zest


Warm olive oil in a big pot. Add, carrots, celery, and onion and keep at medium heat. While the aromatics cook, mash the salt, pepper, anchovy, tomato paste, and garlic into a paste with a mortar and pestle (or press the garlic and mix everything together in a bowl). Once the onions are translucent (4-5 minutes) add garlic/anchovy/tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes while constantly stirring until it smells caramelized and nutty. It can brown but don't let it burn. Add wine and cook off alcohol for a minute or so. Add squash, 4 cups of chicken stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat, keep at a simmer, and cook until squash and carrots are tender (30-40 minutes). Remove thyme stems. Puree in the pot with an immersion blender or transfer to a cuisinart or blender. Taste and season as needed. If it's too thick add some chicken stock or water. I found I needed to add lots more salt. Sometimes adding a bit of vermouth or lemon juice at the end is nice as well. Serve by itself or with toppings.

DASH AND BELLA
http://www.dashandbella.blogspot.com

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