By Kelly DiNardo
As we pay greater attention to where our food comes from, our health and the health of what we’re consuming, even the most carnivorous eaters are taking a break from meat – at least occasionally. Of course, it can be challenging to follow Meatless Monday, the international campaign to eat vegetarian on Mondays, without making it Carb-Lovers’ Monday. So we’ve turned to area chefs for a little inspiration. Today, Trademark in Alexandria, Va. dishes up a Winter Squash Soup.
Winters Squash Soup
- 2 lbs Winter Squash (butternut, acorn or sweet dumpling)
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp coriander seed
- ½ tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 qt vegetable stock
- ½ qt heavy cream
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
- ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 ea apple, cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp butter
- In a pan with no oil, over medium heat, toast coriander and fennel seed.
- Cut squash in half lengthways and scoop out seeds, place on baking tray, drizzle squash with olive oil.
- Mix half the ground cinnamon with kosher salt, and sprinkle over oiled squash.
- Crack coriander and fennel seed and sprinkle over squash.
- Roast 300F for 40 minutes, until soft.
- Gently heat molasses over low heat with remaining ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick.
- Sauté onions, celery, carrots over medium heat, add herbs, and apple chunks and continue until all is softened.
- Once squash is cooked, set aside to cool enough to handle. Scoop out flesh and add to pan with onions and apple. Add stock, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend with a hand blender until smooth, add infused molasses, and finish with cream and butter.
- Optional: Serve with a spoon of crème fraîche, and a drizzle of ginger-infused honey.