FOOD & WINE PAIRING: Butternut Squash Soup & Chardonnay

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup Finished with Crème Fraiche & Tuscan Olive Oil
Wine Pairing: Lambert Bridge 2011 Chardonnay, Sonoma County

Ingredients: (makes 2 quarts)

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, light
  • 1/4 pound yellow onion, medium diced
  • 1  1/2 each carrots, medium sized, peeled & sliced thin
  • To taste sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, split, seeded, skin removed and diced large
  • 1/2 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 2  each bay leaves
  • 1/4 pound red potatoes, peeled and diced large   
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, fresh, chopped
  • ¼ cup rose wine (or chardonnay)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 ounces gruyere cheese
  • 1  1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce
  • 2  cups water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 each apple, medium sized, peeled and diced medium

In a 4 quart sauce pot, over medium heat, place the butter and the olive oil. As it begins to melt, add the onion and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onion is soft, but without any color. Remove the cover, and add the carrots, some salt and pepper. Stir and cover, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the vegetables do not stick or color. When the carrots are soft, add the butternut squash, curry powder, bay leaves, potatoes, apple and thyme. Stir and cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of salt and pepper.
Add the wine, stir, cover and increase heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken broth, sriracha chili sauce, cider vinegar and 1/2 the water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk, cover and simmer until the squash and potatoes are very soft and fully cooked.
Remove the bay leaves, stir in the gruyere cheese, and using an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender, puree the soup with all its ingredients until very smooth. It may take several batches to do so. If the soup is too thick, add some water until it is creamy and thick, but not overly so.
Once it is all pureed, return the soup to the sauce pot, place over medium low heat and season with salt, pepper and possibly some more sriracha sauce until you like the taste.
Add the orange juice and heavy cream. Thin if needed with additional water. When the soup is just the way you want it, serve it chilled or hot with anything from truffle oil, olive oil, crème fraiche, Roquefort cheese, crab or scallops.