Fall has finally arrived, which means it’s time to take advantage of one of my favorite fall vegetables: butternut squash. They’re remarkably versatile and perfect for salads, gratins, lasagna, and risotto. I’m particularly fond of using them for soups, like this butternut squash soup with a sage quenelle and crispy speck. —Adeline Borra
2 lb. of butternut squash
2 cups of vegetable stock (or enough to cover the squash in the pot)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
10 sage leaves
6 slices of speck
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the chantilly, in a medium saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Add the sage leaves and remove from heat. Cover and infuse for 15 minutes. Keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove and discard the sage leaves from the infused cream. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with salt and pepper until stiff peaks form. Keep in the fridge.
To prepare the squash, peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler. Remove and discard all seeds. Cut the squash into medium-sized cubes and place into a large pot. Cover the squash with vegetable broth and add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Cook on high heat to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the squash is soft). Add the sour cream. Give a good stir and taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour the soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
To prepare the crispy speck, lay the speck slices on a baking sheet set with parchment paper. Add another baking sheet on top and bake the speck for 8-10 minutes at 380°F. Then remove and reserve on paper towels
When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup in the saucepan. Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with a quenelle of sage chantilly and finish with a slice of crispy speck. Garnish with freshly ground pepper or nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 6 people
Adeline’s tip: With the exception of the crispy speck, this recipe can be made a day before. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat in a sauce pan.
About the Author
Adeline Borra is private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France, and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website.