Spice Market launched its new fall menu at the beginning of the month, featuring the mother of all seasonal soups: Butternut Squash. Of course, true to the restaurant’s name, executive chef Anthony Ricco adds a little kick to his version of the dish. It comes in the form of ginger syrup and Thai chilies.
“Spice Market’s Butternut Squash Soup is a hearty dish made with an inventive mix of flavors,” says Ricco. “The soup itself is basic and pure, and it comes alive when accented with young ginger whipped cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. The final addition of Thai basil makes for the perfect combination of fall ingredients.”
Ginger Butternut Squash Soup With Allspice and Soy Milk Cream
For the Ginger Syrup:
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup densely packed ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 Thai chili
In a pot over high heat, combine the sugar, lemon, and chili, and bring to a boil. Squeeze the ginger to the extract juice, then toss in the pulp. Mix well, and let cool at room temperature. Strain through a chinois sieve, and set aside.
For the Butternut:
6 cups chopped butternut
1 1/2 cups ginger syrup
2 tablespoons salt
Split the butternut in half and remove the seeds. Season liberally with salt and white pepper, and dot generously with butter. Reassemble and wrap in foil, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until completely tender. When cool, scoop out the flesh.
In a pot over high heat, combine the butternut and ginger syrup with 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and puree until smooth. Pass through a chinois sieve. Consistency should be thick and pourable. Season with the salt, and warm as needed.
For the Tofu Cream:
2 cups soft silken tofu
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
pinch allspice, finely ground
1 teaspoon salt
In a pot over medium high heat, heat the allspice and butter until fragrant and foaming. In a blender, combine the butter mixture with tofu and salt, and puree until smooth. Pass through a chinois sieve, and set aside.
For the Pumpkin Seeds:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
In a sauté pan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients and sauté until the seeds are toasted and well-puffed. Transfer to a clean container, and store at room temperature in the cooking oil.
Ladle the soup into a bowl, add tofu cream in the middle, and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and a thick chiffonade of Thai basil.
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