Chapter 4 — Soups

We’re down to 14 days until At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining ships from Kentucky. That means 14 of 19 chapters still to preview.

Section 2 is all about Getting the Meal Started. It includes three chapters. Chapter 4 — Soups offers thirteen delicious soup recipes plus a spread about Mastering Soup Purees. Chapter 5 is Tossed Salads & Dressings. Chapter 6 features Composed First Courses — cold and room temperature recipes meant to be arranged, ideally on individual plates.

You may have noticed that our recipes are presented in a somewhat unconventional way. I always objected to the standard presentation of listing recipes in the order of the recipe steps when you have to do things to ingredients before you even get to the steps. In a kitchen we do all of the chopping, dicing, etc. in advance of starting the actual cooking or assembly and I think that way makes the most sense. So, our ingredient list always starts with those ingredients that have implicit steps like chopping, etc. In addition, the ingredient is presented in boldface so that it is easy to scan an ingredient list. Finally, in the recipe steps the first time you use and ingredient, the ingredient is presented in boldface. I think it’s just a smarter way to present a recipe.

So, what follows is a recipe, note — today it’s a bottom note. Bottom notes are occur occasionally throughout the book and are autobiographical. Then, of course, there’s a Pascal Lemaitre illustration.

Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque
A bit of fresh ginger and five-spice powder enhance the natural sweetness of that hourglass shaped fall staple, butternut squash. Serve in an acorn squash bowl for a stunning presentation.
do ahead Soup can be made up to four days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated.
2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
11⁄2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
3⁄4 cup finely chopped carrot
1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons five-spice powder
11⁄2 quarts vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1 Preheat oven to 350º.
2 Place squash on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 tablespoons oil and the five-spice powder. Rub squash with spice mixture. Roast squash in oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3 In a large skillet, heat remaining oil. Add onion, celery, carrot and remaining ginger and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
4 Scrape squash from skin and transfer flesh to blender jar. Working in batches, combine with cooked vegetables and vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a large soup pot.
5 Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Over a moderate flame, bring soup to a simmer, then stir in cream. Serve in warmed bowls.
serves 6-8

View more recipes from At Home.

A Frog Is Born
On the evening of April 4, 1973, my little Frog was born. It would be years before I’d actually place a sign on the building. Instead, we were “the place on 16th Street with all the plants in the front window.” Highlights of Frog’s opening-night menu included onion soup, calf’s liver with mustard sauce and rack of lamb lifted from La Panetière. Our paella and canneloni recipes came from a Time-Life cookbook. My mother made a batch of her stuffed cabbage. The wine list included bottles of Mateus and Mouton Cadet, plus several selections by the glass—a Philadelphia first. On other nights we offered quiche, brochette of beef and Thai chicken curry, a blend of spices and French béchamel. It was the birth of what became known as fusion. By today’s standards, it wasn’t much. But served by energetic kids anxious to please, the food at Frog, and the restaurant itself, was something new, a soldier on the front lines of a restaurant revolution. Versions of Frog would appear in cities across America.

Picture 4

This is Pascal’s illustration for Mexican Clam Chowder.

Tomorrow: I am going to skip ahead to Chapter 10Braises, Casserole & One-Dish Entrees — so that I can share my recipe for Holiday-Ready Brisket in plenty of time to plan for your Rosh Hashana.

Looking ahead – Sunday we will pick-up our countdown order with Chapter 5 – Tossed Salads and feature our recipe for Fatoush – our chopped version of the traditional Middle Eastern tomato and cucumber salad with a wonderful dressing of lemon, mint and olive oil.

If you purchase a book between now and the end of the month you will receive a signed, numbered first edition. Books will never be available in bookstores. You can buy it now in our online shop. Who knows, one day that may be a collector’s item and you’ll be able to sell it on eBay for big bucks! When you buy the book, you will receive access to our At Home Online. And just wait until you see that!

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Thank you.


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