Butternut Squash Soup

Today is the perfect day in Los Angeles to switch to fall recipes: it is raining, which means one of the few days were you really feel the need for a nice, warm soup.

Even if you can find butternut squash 12 months a year, it is a typical winter produce: ripe by the end of the summer, it can be kept for weeks or months in the dark at (cold) room temperature (think cellar). The bright orange color of its pulp indicates a high level of carotenoids, which will be converted by our bodies in Vitamin A. And it is also rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients. Easily available and cheap, it is an amazing resource for many different dishes.

I like to prepare this soup on Thanksgiving Day, as it is the perfect marriage between the traditional menu for the American festivity and the Italian tradition from Mantova, in Northern Italy, where the cuisine is divine. There, the first use for squash is a filling for Tortelli, but with a twist. The first time I tried it, it just left me without words: some Amaretto cookies are added to the filling, enhancing the natural sweetness of the squash and adding a little bitter aftertaste that comes from the kernels of the apricots used in very small quantities as an ingredient for the cookies (large quantities are poisonous).

I adapted the idea to make a thick soup that is intense in flavor, surprising, and satisfying.


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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)