I have been a bit distant lately.  I know; I’m sorry.  I entered a fiction contest on Saturday (Yeah, yeah, la-dee-dah.  I’m sure I won’t win.), which meant the weeks leading up to Saturday were very busy.  It was hard to concentrate on cookies and chocolate when my head was buried in tall ships and Pre-Revolutionary America.

Anyway, I did come up with a few recipes, and I figured I’d post them now, while you’re all dreaming up your Thanksgiving menus.  This is the winter squash soup I promised you.  By the way, it freezes beautifully, so if you want to serve it for Thanksgiving, make it now, let it cool completely, and freeze it in a big container.  You can heat it up when the turkey comes out of the oven!

Coming soon: pumpkin crème brûlée, for those of you who want something a little different for pumpkin pie.

winter squash bisque

2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 14 ounce (400g) cans winter squash puree (butternut squash, or even pumpkin)
1/2 cup (175g) apple cider or grape juice
1/2 a large ripe pear, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups (500g) homemade chicken stock
1 large sprig of fresh sage
salt to taste
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream

1.  Over low heat, melt butter in the bottom of a large pot.  Sauté shallot in butter until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Stir in spices and cook for a minute more.
2.  Stir in squash, pear pieces, juice, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and toss in sage.  Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pear pieces are tender.
3.  Remove sprig of sage.  Add salt (I used about 1/2 teaspoon, but the amount will vary, depending on the stock used.).  Stir in cream.  Serve.

Replace the point of view and buy thesis over here to look brilliant.