Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

serves 6

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large leek, white part only, cleaned and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2½ pounds Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh sage leaves, picked, for garnish
Saba (available at specialty stores), optional for garnish

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, leek, shallots, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent browning. Add the squash to the vegetables and stir. Add 2 quarts of water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Remove the vegetables from the heat and purée immediately in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Heat a small amount of blended oil to 300°F and fry the sage leaves until crispy. Transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain and cool.

Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of the Saba and a few fried sage leaves.

Heirloom Tomato Season is Here!

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad
Serves 6

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium yellow tomato, blanched, peeled & seeded
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T champagne vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste

For the salad:
½ cup feta cheese
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 # seedless watermelon, rind removed, sliced into ½ x 2-inch rounds
2 # assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch pieces
2 T fresh oregano leaves, for garnish
Sea salt, for garnish

To prepare the vinaigrette:
Place the yellow tomato in a blender. On medium speed add the mustard and then the vinegar. Slowly add ½ cup of olive oil. Taste and season with salt and white pepper as needed and set aside.In a separate bowl, crumble the feta and mix it with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
To serve:
Divide the heirloom tomato slices and the watermelon slices equally between 6 plates. When plating, alternate the slices and garnish with a bit of feta. Drizzle the vinaigrette over each portion and garnish with the oregano leaves. Add a touch of sea salt to the salad if desired.