The Gourmet Club tries to meet four times a year. That’s four couples, each responsible for a theme, a date at their home and wrangling the calendars of the rest of us. We’ve had some luscious eats: Cuban, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Men’s Meal (Hawaiian is upcoming) in the three-plus years this has been going on. We haul a lot of ingredients, premade things, stuff to cook right there, cooking utensils and numerous bottles of wine to each Club dinner. It’s a very good club.
Laura and Jeff’s house was the most recent: Comfort Food theme. Perfect for our February weather. Laura prepared one of her favorite holiday dishes: Squash Soup with Cranberry Dollop. That dollop made me think, “huh??” yet it is incredible! But Laura didn’t dream the recipe up, Gourmet Clubber Marlene was the author, published it in one of her numerous cookbooks. I’m telling you, this is no amateur group of foodies.
There was a fairly lengthy “story of the squash” which apparently started out almost the size of a VW bug. I guess you had to be there to get the big laughs (fueled by massive quantities of very good wine).
Squash Soup with Cranberry Dollop
from International Produce Cookbook & Guide by Marlene Brown
- 3 lbs. winter squash, such as buttercup, butternut, acorn, turban, kabocha, Australian blue, or banana – cooked
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pint half and half (2 cups)
- 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
Remove cooked squash from shells, measure 4 cups pulp (reserve remainder for a side dish). In blender, or food processor fitted with a metal blade, process squash until pureed. Set Aside. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter or margarine; sauté onion and carrots for 5 minutes or until tender but not brown. Stir in broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg; bring to boiling. Boil, uncovered, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmering; stir in squash puree and half and half. Simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. Taste for seasoning. To serve, ladle soup in bowls, spoon 2 tablespoons of the cranberry sauce in the center of each bowl of soup. Makes 8 servings.