The flavors in this are quite light, and it has a creamy texture without cream. The slight peppery bite from turnips is a bit unexpected and makes fussy garnishes unnecessary too. I make it with acorn squash but any orange fleshed winter squash would be great. Leftovers make a terrific sauce for pasta or gnocchi.
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, cleaned, halved lengthwise and roughly chopped
- 1 (1 ½ lb) acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 pinch each, salt & white pepper, or as needed
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 2 clove garlic, peeled & smashed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ pound turnips, pelled & roughly chopped
- 6 cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch ground coriander
- 3 tablespoon brandy
- ¼ cup celery leaves, as garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the squash with salt and white pepper. Place ½ tablespoon butter into each cavity and place the squash halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until tender and caramelized, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the tray.
Melt the remaining butter in a medium soup pot set over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, carrots and garlic. Sprinkle the mixture with sugar. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the turnips, stock, bay leaf and coriander then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, season with salt and white pepper. Cover and cook another 20 minutes, until the turnips are very tender. Remove the bay leaf.
Scoop the flesh from the cooled squash halves straight into the soup pot. Using an immersion blender puree the mixture until very smooth, or use a standard blender working in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the soup pot (if using a standard blender) and add brandy. Bring the soup to a simmer and adjust the seasoning. Garnish withe celery leaves. Serve warm in individual bowls