Sunday, November 14, 2010

Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto Soup

This recipe, which may actually be my new favorite homemade meal, has a lot to offer. The squash is pleasantly sweet and tender, the gorgonzola is salty, the arborio rice is creamy, and a little sage pulls it all together with an earthy sort of undertone. I'm pretty sure they just called this recipe a soup so that it could be included in this cookbook, which I have mentioned here before, Best-Ever Soups. If you don't own it yet, please put it on your list of cookbooks to obtain. It's less than $5 on, and it provides endless soup discoveries. Or in this case (rather like a bonus round!), risotto.

I halved the recipe to two servings, which worked fine (though mine is less soup-like and more risotto-like than what the cookbook showed). This isn't a terribly complicated recipe, but it does take about an hour and a half to prepare it. That's largely because it takes both time (particularly to peel and chop the squash) and (more time) and patience, as you go through the whole risotto routine - add broth, wait... add broth, wait...

Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto Soup
Serves 4

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 celery stick, finely sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbsp chopped sage
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
5 cups hot chicken stock
2 Tbsp heavy cream (I used evaporated milk)
4 oz blue cheese, finely diced (I used gorgonzola)
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the butter and oil in a large plan and heat gently. Add the onions and celery, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the squash and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the sage. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until the grains are slightly translucent. Add the chicken stock a ladleful at a time. Cook until each ladleful of stock has been absorbed before adding the next. Continue adding the stock this way until you have a very wet rice mixture. Season to taste. Stir in the cream. Stir in the blue cheese, and serve.

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