Thursday, December 18, 2008

Craving Ellie- MY PICK!!! Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Barefoot Bloggers Bonus- Savory Palmiers, heck why not some Cardamom ones too?

This week's Craving Ellie in Your Belly recipe was chosen by yours truly, Me. I wanted to try her version of Butternut Squash Soup, which is Curried. So, since butternut squash season is upon us, I chose it. I really like this soup, but keep in mind I love butternut squash and I also love curry powder. Some people reported that the honey made this a little too sweet, so I experimented and left the honey out of half of my soup. I liked it both ways, but better without the honey. I used greek yogurt on top, which really helped to calm down a little of the curry. This is a spicy soup and was just what this house of sore throats needed.
The Barefoot Bonus recipe for this week was Savory Palmiers, from Ina's new book, Back to Basics. It was chosen by Becky of Random Musings of a deco lady. This recipe looked really easy and pretty, so I threw it into the cookie plates that I took to a few people in the neighborhood. I also saw these yummy Cardamom-Brown Sugar Palmiers in Sunset magazine and they reminded me of my favorite pastry that I ate when I spent 18 months in Estonia. I decided to do a half batch of each, so I had some savory and some sweet. Super simple, elegant and delicious!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
1 Tbls canola oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups) ( I used half shallots)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsps)
one- 2 1/2 pd. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth ( I used chicken stock)
1 Tbls +2 tsps curry powder
1/2 tsp salt, + more to taste
2 Tbls honey (I only added honey to half of the soup)
4 tsp plain nonfat yogurt, for garnish (I used greek yogurt)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, broth, curry powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the honey, and puree until smooth in the pot using an immersion blender or in two batches in a regula blender. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and drizzle with the yogurt.

Savory Palmiers from Ina Garten, Back to Basics
1 package frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 cup prepared pesto, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Kosher salt
Lightly flour a board and carefully unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it’s 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches. Spread the sheet of puff pastry with half the pesto, then sprinkle with half the goat cheese, half the sun-dried tomatoes, and half the pine nuts. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.
Working from the short ends, fold each end halfway to the center. Then fold each side again toward the center until the folded edges almost touch. Fold one side over the other and press lightly. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat for the second sheet of puff pastry using the remaining ingredients. Cover both rolls with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the prepared rolls of puff pastry into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place them faceup 2 inches apart on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 14 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Homemade Pesto from Ina Garten, Back to Basics
makes 4 cups
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely puréed. Add the Parmesan cheese and purée for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Cardamom Brown-Sugar Palmiers from Sunset Magazine
Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time.
Bakers' Tip: As with any super-buttery dough, chilling it makes it much easier to slice.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 sheet (8.6 oz.) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to package instructions
1. Combine brown sugar and cardamom in a small bowl. Unfold dough flat on a work surface and sprinkle evenly with half the sugar mixture.
2. Using a rolling pin, lightly roll sugar into dough so that most of sugar sticks, being careful not to change the shape of the dough. Turn pastry over and sprinkle evenly with remaining sugar.
3. Beginning with the side closest to you, fold in dough, 1 in. at a time, to the center of the rectangle. Repeat with the opposite side. Fold one half on top of other as if closing a book. Wrap dough airtight and chill at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400°. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/2-in. slices. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lay slices on flat sides about 2 in. apart. Bake slices until doubled in size and golden, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on trays.
Make ahead: Unbaked palmiers can be frozen up to 2 weeks; baked palmiers may be made up to 2 days ahead and kept airtight at room temperature.

Coming Tomorrow- Butter Cookie Dough- 1 dough turned into 3 Christmas Cookies


Cathy said...

Great pick, Mare! I am so glad that I made the soup -- it was delicious. Yours looks sooooooo smooth and perfect. The savory palmiers look great too, and look at you getting all wild throwing in some cardamom ones! Those are on "the list" for after the new year!

Gabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabi said...

Yummy pick Mare- loved the soup. Hey those palmiers would be great with it...slurp!

Maria said...

Great picks! Everything looks great!

What's for Supper? said...

BEAUTIFUL photos Mary Ann! I am glad that I tried the soup.

The Blonde Duck said...

Gorgeous! This looks so elegant!

Melissa said...

The soup looks so great, and super easy. I love that! And great photos as always!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Your soup looks great --love the swirl. I have Ellie's book and had the soup tabbed but have not tried it so good to know it is good. I made the palmiers too and they were good but you were smart to make 1/2 of them sweet--I craved that after I ate the savory ones!

Heather said...

this looks lovely! the curry in the soup sounds delicious! and the palmiers look so beautiful!

Heather B said...

nice pick for ellie! Your soup. And palmiers look great!

Marie Rayner said...

Your soup looks amazing Mary Ann. I'm so sorry I didn't get to this recipe this week. No excuse really except not a lot of time. Your palmiers look wonderful as well. Once again you amaze me with all that you get done. What's your secret??? :-)

Audrey and the Boys said...

We were lucky enough to get some of these cookies in the mail! They were delicious! Thanks Mare!

Audrey and the Boys said...

PS I can't wait to try that soup. Butternut squash soup is one of my very favorite things.