Yin Yang Spiral of Roasted Red Pepper Butternut Squash Soup
This is such an elegant recipe because you are combining two soups in one bowl and they each (hopefully!) stay in their own half of the bowl. The butternut squash soup recipe blends butternut squash with chicken stock, butter, onion and a little nutmeg, so you can see that most of the flavor comes from the butternut squash itself and the other ingredients are simply there to focus your attention on the squash soup flavor. Maybe you have tried an acorn squash soup, a roasted butternut squash soup, or another of the more famous squash soup recipes, or maybe you are new to preparing this tasty vegetable.
The roasted red pepper soup is more complex and features herbs, spices, brandy, cream, and other vegetables. It is a good idea, when combining two soups like this, to use a complex, full-flavored one, and a milder one. The result is that the easy butternut squash soup contrasts nicely with the creamy red bell pepper soup, providing a backdrop to the main flavor of the dish, which is the roasted red pepper soup recipe.
If you are looking for exciting appetizer recipes you might have ruled soup out as being a bit dull but there is certainly nothing boring about this gourmet soup recipe. It is delightfully easy to make as well and if you only fancy one of the soups you only have to make one, not both. This wonderful soup appetizer can also be served in bigger portions as lunch and if you do that it is great with crackers or buttered bread on the side.
- ½ butternut squash
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ chopped onion
- Salt and pepper
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 potato, chopped
- 2 large roasted red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large blanched tomato, chopped
- ½ onion
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream or a sour cream and Half & Half combination
- 2 tablespoons of fruit juice (orange, lemon, or grapefruit)
- 2 cups of broth (water with 2 bouillon cubes)
- 1 tablespoon brandy or white vermouth
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- You can make the soups one by one (and then warm the first one back up) or prepare them simultaneously. This is for the squash soup. Peel the squash and cut it into 1 inch chunks. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes until translucent. Add the stock and the squash. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender. Remove the squash cubes with a slotted spoon and puree them in a blender. Return the squash to the saucepan and stir well. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Next make the red bell pepper soup. Sauté the carrot, celery and onion in some olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the spices, herbs and potato and sauté for 10 minutes more. Use some brandy or dry vermouth to deglaze the pan. Add the tomato and pepper and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the broth mixture and bring to a boil simmer for a few minutes until everything is soft. Blend the soup until it is very smooth, then return it to the pan and add balsamic vinegar and fruit juice to taste. Add the sour cream and whisk well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When both soups are ready, it is time to create the yin yang effect! This is easier than it looks if you have some help! While one person slowly ladles both soups on the plate, the other person twists the plate slightly. Alternatively, you can make a stripe using aluminum foil and pour the soup either side of it. Remove the foil and the soup should stay on its own side of the bowl. Serve hot with some fresh, warm crusty bread and butter.
This is such a classy soup and if you cannot decide whether to make an acorn squash soup or a red pepper soup this might be the answer to your dilemma because it is a wonderful combination of two excellent soups sharing one bowl! Featuring plenty of delicious vegetables, as well as herbs, spices, cream and more, this bowlful of elegance is sure to be a delight to your dinner guests. It will be the talking point of the whole evening. The flavors contrast between the two soups and besides that, the presentation is, as you can see from the picture, really stunning.
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