This silky smooth soup is named for the wife of Greenbrier executive chef Richard Rosendale, because she loves it and he makes it for her at home. (At the resort restaurant, it's sometimes called Butternut Veloute With Maple Chantilly.)
Savory is complemented with a touch of sweetness in the cream whipped with maple syrup, added just before serving.
Yield: Makes about 8 cups
- For the soup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
- 2 ribs celery, cut into small dice
- Flesh from a 2 1/2-to-3-pound butternut squash, cut into chunks (about 5 cups)
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 quart no-salt-added homemade or store-bought chicken broth
- Water (optional)
- 1 banana, cut crosswise into thin slices
- 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the topping
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons good-quality maple syrup, plus more for optional drizzling
- Chopped pecans, chopped spinach, dried cranberries and/or cooked, diced chicken, for garnish (optional)
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
For the soup: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, stirring to coat; cook for about 8 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add the squash, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring to coat, then add the broth. If the solids are not completely submerged, add water as needed. Add the banana slices, then add the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup until its texture is silky smooth. Cook just long enough for the soup to begin to bubble at the edges, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
For the topping: Combine the cream and maple syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed to start, then on high speed to form stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to serve, divide the soup among individual bowls. Add a generous portion of whipped maple cream; if desired, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle on some of the garnishes. Dust the cream with cinnamon and serve right away.
Adapted from Rosendale, executive chef at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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