Nov 24 2011
If you work in SEO in this fine city of Albany, NY, it doesn’t take long to learn the lay of the land. There are a handful of good firms serving local and regional businesses. Overit Media is the uber-creative, flash-bang agency. Mannix Marketing and Karner Blue are the vets, and IntelliSites is a great mix of talent, brains, and very good looking people (as evidenced here).
The cool big sister of Albany’s SEO scene, the Outspoken-eers get into the fancy nerd parties, land the famous clients, and speak at the big conferences.
They also recently moved into a new office space. And I thought it would be nice if c3t brought them lunch.
Outspoken Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
I adapted and simplified this from a recipe by Derek Clayton (Michael Symon’s Corporate chef at Lola in Cleveland). I tried the recipe as-is at first, and felt that a handful of things should be changed. This is the result.
(For a video of some of the techniques involved, scroll down to the bottom)
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- Olive oil
- Kosher Salt
- 3 tbsps. butter
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 red cherry pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- small pinch of nutmeg
Special Equipment: immersion blender or regular blender
- Preheat your oven to 400°. Cut off the top and bottom of the squash, set on it’s wide end, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds and the stringy membrane. Discard.
- Score the inside of the squash in a crosshatch pattern, rub a thin layer of olive oil on the flesh, sprinkle with lots of kosher salt, and roast, flesh side down, for about 1 hour. (I usually take a 40 minute break at this point, then come back and do the next steps)
- Melt butter in a stockpot (I use a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven that works really well) over medium heat. Add onions, apples and cherry pepper, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Cook until everything is soft and you get some liquid in the bottom, about 10 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup and cook until reduced by about 1/2 the volume, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat until squash is ready.
- When the squash has cooked and softened, remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Being careful not to burn yourself on the hot squash, scrape the flesh off the skin with a large metal spoon, and add to the pot with the onion and apple mixture. Return the pot to the heat, add the chicken broth and cream, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and grab your immersion blender. Work your way around the pot with the blender until everything is a smooth and consistent…umm…consistency. Add a small pinch of nutmeg and continue to blend. If things look too thick, add a little more cream or stock. If you add more stock, make sure to return mixture to a simmer for a few extra minutes.
If you don’t have an immersion blender: you can use a regular blender to get the consistency you’re looking for but be very careful. You’ve got a super hot liquid and a blender is going to make it splash all over the place. Make sure to get the lid on tight before you start the blender. The sides of the blender will get hot quickly, so don’t touch them without an over mitt or a dry towel in the middle.
Video of Techniques