Butternut Sweetgrass Soup

I have been making this soup every fall (about four times a season) for the past three years and every time I make it a little different.  In fact I am notorious for not following the recipe. So this time I decided to add a little beer to the pot.  My key ingredients are always curry, chili and sherry vinegar.  Combined with the buttery squash and cream these flavors shine.  So have fun with this one and feel free to stray…

1 large (2 med) butternut squash
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 fresno chili
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1 bottle of Sweetgrass APA
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tblsp butter
sherry vinegar to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds with spoon.  Rub BOTH outside and insides with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set halves face down on baking sheet and bake for 45 min to 1 hour, until pokes soft with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot (or crock pot) combine onions, carrots, garlic and spices (including generous pinches of salt and pepper).  Cover with apple juice, water and beer and slow cook on med/low heat for 2 hours (or until vegetables are tender) and liquid has reduced by1/3.

Add roasted squash without skin.  With hand blender puree with milk, cream and butter.  Add tablespoons of sherry vinegar to taste.  As well as s&p.

Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup and crushed pecans, or thinly diced chives and olive oil.  Serve with a glass of APA
OR
(at the risk of sounded redundant this month) pair with a glass of Coming Home 2011.  The sweetness of this beer balances the spice of the soup the same way the hoppy APA does.

Enjoy!

Julie Levy

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