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Calabaza, Sweet Potato, and Apple Bisque

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MMMMiami
Recipe Category: Side Dish
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    This recipe is from MMMMiami--Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere by Carole Kotkin and Kathy Martin

    (6 to 8 servings)
    Calabaza, or West Indian pumpkin can be watery on its own, but it lends a mellow flavor to soups like this bisque. We combine it with north-of-the-border sweet potato and apple -- though, in fact, the Granny Smiths you buy might come from Argentina or Chile -- and warm the blend with cumin and coriander. A bit of cream or half-and-half softens and enriches the flavor. This is a perfect starter for a Thanksgiving feast, and a welcome addition to any meal. Make it a day ahead if you can so the flavors have time to fully develop. And remember that you can use acorn, butternut, or any hard-shelled squash if calabaza isn't available.

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    1 large leek, white part only, chopped
    1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
    1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
    1 pound calabaza, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
    4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    cup heavy cream or half-and-half, plus more for garnish
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    Hot pepper sauce
    Cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)

    Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, leek, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander, and cook 1 minute more.
    Add the apple, sweet potato, squash, and 4 cups of the broth. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce it to a simmer, and cook, partially
    covered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
    Strain the broth into another container. (If you're working ahead, use the container in which you'll refrigerate the soup.) Working in batches if necessary, puree the solids with a little of the broth in a blender or food processor. Whisk the puree back into the broth.
    Just before serving, whisk in the cream, and bring the soup a simmer. Season it to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Ladle it into
    bowls, and garnish each serving with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of Cilantro.
    Planning Ahead: The soup can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or up to a month or two ahead and frozen.

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