Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is „Béatrix`s Red Kuri Soup“, an elegant soup with velvety texture and creamy flavor, just perfect for this time of year.
Squashes and pumpkins belong to the same family as cucumbers, melons, marrows and courgettes (zucchini). There is really an amazing variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and although most are edible, some are used for decoration only. All squashes and pumpkins have a tough outer rind, an inner cavity filled with hard seeds and sweet, rich flesh with a dense, nutty and earthy flavor.
The Red Kuri squash required for this recipe is very easy to find in these parts. It seems to be omnipresent in markets and health-food stores at this time of year until the season ends in February. Depending on where you live, this squash might be called either „Hokkaido squash“ (that´s how we call it) or „Kuri squash“ (Kuri means „chestnut“ in Japanese.) The French call it „potimarron“, referring to the fact that the squash combines the flavors of pumpkin and roasted chestnuts (marrons). And there is another plus to the squash, the skin is edible.
Onto the recipe for today, this was another no-fuss soup recipe. You simply boil the deseeded and chopped, skin-on squash together with some cut-up leeks (white parts only) in milk and some water, no broth, for a good thirty minutes. Then you purée the soup until very smooth. Add sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste and serve with topping(s) of your choice such as croutons, fried sage, sautéed chestnuts or whatever else strikes your fancy. I added a swirl of crème fraîche and dark-green roasted pumkin seeds from Styria, Austria. To roast the seeds, add a handful of pumpkin seeds to a non-stick pan, then cook for a few minutes until they become fragrant.
Dorie´s recipe renders a silky textured soup, that is delicious sprinkled with some pumpkin seeds and finished with a light swirl of crème fraîche – we really enjoyed it, it was different from the cream of Hokkaido squash soup that I usually prepare (with a bit of heat from Spanish roasted paprika). Less is often more and this seven-ingredient-recipe showcases the nutty, rich flavor of the Red Kuri squash in the best of ways – you can taste the squash as well as the hint of roasted chestnut, a flavor combination which we truly enjoyed.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Béatrix`s Red Kuri Soup“ on pages 78-79 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".