Recently, one of my very good friends and colleague, Dr. Candide Petrol invited my family and I to her beautiful home in Temecula (also known as ‘wine country’), California for an autumn feast. Candide, and her husband Ray, are also avid cooks, who just like the Savorychicks, love to cook, eat and travel the world. So when they invite you to their house (whether it is Idyllwild, Temecula, or Deer Valley, Utah) for dinner, you can expect to be greeted with open arms, gracious hospitality, fun conversations, and of course, an amazing meal which makes me scream: “Give me the recipe for this!” And of course, they are also generous with their recipes and ‘secret ingredients’.
In Southern California, the weather isn’t as cold as one would imagine for the autumn season. However, most of us living here, complain about 60 degree weather as ‘freezing cold’! To celebrate our ‘chilly’ weather, Candide prepared her favorite squash soup for starters; followed by her famous short ribs (in which I am hoping she will share her recipe soon); and finally Ray’s homemade Thai Coconut Ice Cram! Heavenly!!!
I wish I can tap my shoes together and take you to our fabulous dinner at Candide and Ray’s house. For now, try this recipe, and experience a small portion of delight!
Ingredients for Candide Petrol's favorite roasted squash soup:
6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash (or you can use a combination of acorn, spaghetti and butternut squashes)
2 sweet onions cut in quarters
4-6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter, for brushing or olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger (buy it at Trader Joe’s)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon red curry paste (if you like it spicy or with some heat)
roasted pumpkin seed oil (at Trader Joe’s ) to drizzle at presentation
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a sheet pan with flesh side up put butter and honey in the cavity of the squash, drizzle onions and garlic with olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes to one hour or until the flesh is nice and soft (can turn the oven off and leave it to cook more- cover with foil).
3. Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot, add the roasted onions and garlic. To that, also add the stock, ginger and nutmeg. Add 1 tablespoon red curry paste if you desire. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Return to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. For a beautiful presentation, sprinkle roasted pumpkins seeds and drizzle roasted pumpkin seed oil on top!