|The mystery gourds|
|All right, I missed a couple of seeds. So sue me.|
|I say that, but of course the bowl I took a picture of was the one topped with pancetta!|
Creamy Squash Soup
Inspired by flavors from A16 Food+Wine
4 small round edible gourds
4 small red potatoes
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
Pan-fried sliced pancetta or blue cheese crumbles for garnish
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Slice the tops from the gourds and set aside. Scoop the seeds from the gourds and rub all over with one and a half tablespoons of the olive oil.
Scrub and quarter the potatoes and toss them with half a tablespoon of olive oil, some salt and pepper.
Place the gourds and their lids on a baking sheet and bake for approximately half an hour. At the half-hour mark, the lids should be done and can be removed.
Add the potatoes to the baking sheet and bake for another twenty minutes, until the potatoes are roasted and the gourds are tender.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the gourds to cool enough to scoop the flesh out of them.
While the squash are cooling, saute the poblano pepper over medium heat in a tablespoon of the olive oil until it is lightly brown around the edges. Add the shallots and saute until they are golden.
Scoop the flesh out of the gourds and discard any seeds. Place the flesh in a food processor, along with the potatoes and a cup of milk. Process for a minute or two until you have a very thick puree, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and process again.
Transfer the puree to a small saucepan and add the remaining milk and the shallot/poblano mixture, stirring to combine. Heat on low until the mixture is thoroughly warmed, then add the crumbled blue cheese. If the mixture is still too thick, add a bit more milk.
If desired, add more salt and pepper and serve immediately in the hollowed gourds with a side salad. The dressing from this post went beautifully with the flavors in the soup (plus I had some left over in the refrigerator).
The soup may be garnished with either thin slices of crispy pancetta or blue cheese crumbles.
Serves four as a main course.