Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut/Almond Salsa - Compliments of Chef Aldo Villani


Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut-Almond Salsa

Pictures to be posted later

Ingredients for the Salsa:

1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 jalapeno peppers, (wear rubber gloves)
2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro

Ingredients for the Soup:

2 cups chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp canola oil
3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash,peeled,halved,the seeds and strings discarded,and the flesh cut into 1/2- inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider (do not replace with apple juice)

8 cilantro sprigs for garnish

Method for the Salsa

In a blender or food processor blend the almonds, coconut, jalapeno, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup water until the mixture is ground fine. Add the cilantro and blend the mixture until it is ground fine.

(This recipe makes what is known as a dry salsa, which has a slightly grainy texture.)

The salsa may be made 1 day in advance and kept refrigerated. Makes about 1 cup.

Method for the Soup

In a soup kettle, cook the onion in the butter & oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add the squash and 1/2 cup water, and cook the mixture,covered, over moderately low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Add the broth, and the juice and simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes. With a hand blender or in a food processor puree the soup in batches.  Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with about a tablespoon of the salsa, to be stirred into the soup, and a cilantro sprig.

Makes about 10 cups, serving 8.

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