Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Creme Fraiche, Spiced Bread Croutons, Shaved Foie Gras Torchon

This is a really simple soup that I usually end up making at some point every fall.

Green apples are peeled and cored, then quartered and sauteed with whole butter, ground cardamom, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and dark brown sugar.  They are cooked until golden brown, then deglazed with apple juice.

For the butternut squash, I cut it in half and remove the seeds.  I score it deeply in a cross-hatch with a pairing knife, then rub with butter before sprinkling the same spices with dark brown sugar over it.  The halved butternut squash then roasts in the oven at 325 degrees for about an hour, depending on the size, until it is browned and cooked all the way through. 

The meat of the squash can then be scooped with a spoon and removed from the skin.  Place the roasted squash and apple into a blender and process on high until smooth.   Use the remaining apple juice from the saute pan to thin the puree as needed.  Finish with heavy whipping cream and season to taste with kosher salt. 

The creme fraiche is made by heating a cup of heavy cream to 105 degrees, then adding a tablespoon of buttermilk.  The cream should then be covered lightly with plastic wrap and should be left in a warm location in the kitchen for 24-36 hours, depending on the desired thickness.  The longer it sits, the thicker the consistency and the more tart the flavor will become.  Ultra pasteurized cream will take longer than pasteurized cream.  Don’t worry about the cream spoiling at room temperature; the buttermilk contains benign bacteria  that multiply and counter any harmful bacteria.

The foie gras torchon preparation is described in a little more detail here:  Foie Torchon.  The foie was frozen and then shaved over the soup with a microplane zester.

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