Many thanks to the lovely Alexandra Wernink for a most thoughtful gift. Out of the blue I received an unexpected package from Amazon. Thrilled, I opened the box to find a copy of Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, by The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Florence Fabricant. Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. This recipe from Kathy Thomas is divine.
1 butternut squash, peeled, cut in half, seeded, and cubed
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups well-seasoned chicken stock
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
Sage leaves for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
Place the squash, leeks, carrots, and onion in a saucepan. Add the butter and salt, cover, and cook over low heat until the vegetables start to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a tablespoon, drop about 24 small mounds of the cheese onto a nonstick baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese melts and forms lacy crisps. Remove from the oven and cool. Set aside.
When the vegetables are soft, cool briefly, then puree them, along with
the stock, in a blender or food processor in two batches. Return the puree to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste. Add the heavy cream, if using, and heat through. Serve in bowls or mugs, each garnished with Parmesan crisps and a sage leaf. If you like, drizzle the surface of the soup with olive oil.
Serves 6 - 8
Excerpted from Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, by The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Florence Fabricant (Rizzoli New York, 2009, $35.00).