Butternut Squash and Sage Soup
(courtesy of Lois Wray, co-owner, The Pink House in Genoa. Serves 6 to 8)
“Enjoy with a glass of Italian Terlato Vineyards pinot grigio or Argentinian LLAMA bonarda/malbec,” Wray suggests.
1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds), split and seeded
2 shallots, roughly chopped
⅓ cup chopped Nevada white sage
⅛ cup brandy
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream (if dairy free or vegan, omit and add 1 cup additional stock instead)
Balsamic reduction or glaze for garnish (purchased or homemade)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place split and seeded squash in shallow pan. Add enough water to fill pan to halfway point and place in oven. Roast squash 30 to 40 minutes until easily pierced with fork.
Thinly coat bottom of small sauté pan with olive or other cooking oil and sauté shallots at medium-high 3 minutes. Stir in sage, then add brandy (step back, as brandy will ignite). When brandy ignites, turn off heat and set aside.
Allow squash to cool, then scoop out flesh. Place squash, sautéed shallots, and sage in food processor. Add spices. Purée while slowly adding stock and cream.
Ladle soup into bowls or cups. Finish with drizzle of balsamic reduction or glaze, if desired.