blissful eats with cook's atelier: roasted potimarron soup
Hello Blissful readers! It’s Marjorie and Kendall from The Cook’s Atelier. We are back again this week to share one of our favorite autumn inspired dishes, roasted Potimarron soup. Potimarron is a favorite squash in France and its flesh is not too sweet and has a delicate flavor of chestnuts. The name comes from Potiron, for pumpkin, and Marron, for chestnut. It is a nice alternative to butternut squash and in addition to being pureed for soup, it can be roasted and served in a warm salad or pureed with carrots for an elegant side dish.
roasted potimarron soup
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of potimarron squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 thyme sprigs
handful of fresh sage leaves
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
6 cups vegetable stock (recipe follows)
Bouquet garni (fresh thyme, bay leave and parsley)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
for the garnish
freshly grated nutmeg
a handful of girolles or chanterelles mushrooms, sautéed
1 truffle, shaved (we use local Burgundy truffles)
a handful of flat parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Drizzle each half inside with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and tuck in a sprig of thyme and a sage leaf into each. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until completely tender.
Remove the squash from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out and reserve the flesh. (discard the thyme and sage)
Put a drizzle of olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions, and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic from coloring. Add the vegetable stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni.
Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Be careful as the hot soup may splash out of the top of the blender. Strain the soup through a fine strainer into a bowl, tapping the side of the strainer so the soup passes through. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, ladle the soup into warm serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche, sautéed mushrooms and a shaving of truffle. Grind some black pepper over the top and garnish with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil or brown butter.
Last week, it really felt like autumn was here. The vineyards just outside Beaune have turned a lovely shade of gold with highlights of red and orange. This autumn weather is the perfect weather for soup. We found our potimarrons, as well as some other pumpkins, at Madame Loichet’s, one of our favorite artisan food producers.
At The Cook’s Atelier, we try to teach our students about the importance of the connection between the cook and the people who grow our food. We met Madame Loichet years ago, when we first arrived in Beaune, and she quickly became one of our favorite artisan food producers. Her garden is an enchanting place, and every Friday when we visit Madame Loichet and her garden, it brings us back to the reason we moved to France: to create a life rich in simplicity and to honor our devotion to good and simple food.
Madame Loichet’s life is centered on the rhythm of her garden. She wakes each morning with the sun and spends her days tending the earth. While the world spins around her with the latest technology, she quietly goes about living an authentic life surrounded by nature. We have a special relationship with Madame Loichet, and we honor her by sharing her offerings from her garden with our guests as they learn to cook from the market. We hope to inspire you to slow down and enjoy the things in life that really matter: the pursuit of an authentic life and the celebration of real food shared with family and friends.
See you in two weeks with another favorite seasonal recipe from The Cook’s Atelier. For a little added inspiration, we wanted to share with you our first film collaboration with our friends, Matt and Julie, from Tiger in a Jar. We shot this film several years ago to honor Madame Loichet and her garden. We especially love this film as it represents the heart and soul of The Cook’s Atelier and it was shot in our first atelier where it all began. We hope you enjoy. Warm regards,
Marjorie et Kendall THE COOK’S ATELIER
[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.blissfulbblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/the_cooks-atelier-FILM1.mp4"][/video]