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Parmigiano and Butternut Squash Soup (aka, Stone Soup, Winter Edition)

Out here in the Bay Area, networking is what it’s all about.

Erin, the office manager here at culture’s west coast office, ended up with a couple loose Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds from yours truly. During our recent cold snap (40 degrees!) she decided to hybridize a Parm’ broth recipe I picked up from Jordan’s Kitchen with her favorite winter squash soup from the folks at Raise the Root.

The result was an exceedingly rich and satisfying dish that cut the caramel sweetness of roasted squash and sweet potato with a light but savory cheese-broth base. The addition of the brown-butter sage and optional cream can make this a dairy trifecta!

Parmigiano and Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6
Recipe by Erin Griffin, based on Raise the Root's Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Sage, Brown Butter & Garlic Crostini by Chefs MikeC and Mark Dessert, and Jordan's Kitchen's Brodo di Parmigiano Reggiano by Chef Jordan Schachter
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BROTH
  1. 10 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano rind
  2. 8 cups water
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
SOUP
  1. 1 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  2. 1 large sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise
  3. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  5. 6 each sage leaves, thinly sliced
  6. ⅛ cup butter
  7. ¼ cup parsley, minced
  8. 1 cup cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine Parmigiano Reggiano rind and the water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer on low. Cover with parchment paper and a lid and simmer until very fragrant, about 2½ hours. (The broth will be even richer if you let it sit overnight with the rinds in.)
While the brother simmers
  1. Place the squash and sweet potato halves on a mat-lined baking sheet (or tinfoil) and roast in the oven until tender, 25-35 minutes. Let cool and scoop the flesh from the skins.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan on a high flame. Add the chopped onions, along with some salt & pepper, and saute for about 30-60 seconds. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 30-45 minutes until the onions are nicely caramelized.
  3. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat and cook until it starts to brown. Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes. Add the sage, and set aside.
  4. Combine squash, sweet potato, caramelized onions, stock, cream (optional), and the sage brown butter. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Heat the soup and serve at the office, in cups.
culture: the word on cheese http://culturecheesemag.com/

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