When the Ask The Chef segment first started, our original chef was Jacques Saleun, the proprietor of the now defunct Chateau du Lac, who was gracious enough to call us first. Part of the deal for the interview was to send a picture of a dish he made from a recipe for us to publish here the following day.
He texted a picture of the recipe after the interview.. It was scribbled on a shred of paper. His wife was kind enough to rewrite it. Butternut squash is something they have been eating a lot in their house during lockdown.
Finally, over the weekend I made the recipe, with a lot of revisions, of course. The butternut squash surprised me, I didn’t like the way it felt on my hands. I’ve never worked with it. I started with 2 shallots sliced thin, sauteed in olive oil. To this I added a half cup of chopped celery, two carrots, and a half yellow bell pepper. I put all of this plus a butternut squash chopped small into a dutch oven and cooked it. When these ingredients caramelized, I added 4 cups of chicken stock and I let it all cool when it was cooked. I put it in a food processor and returned it into the pot, adding ¾ cup of heavy cream.
As Jacques suggested, we garnished it with nutmeg at the end.
Jacques’s wife Paige told me it’s a house favorite there. I liked it well enough, though butternut squash soup is not a favorite. It was a great consistency and a very nice color, and had just a hint of sweetness. A hunk of country bread would make a great meal.
1 butternut squash
2 shallots chopped fine
1 stalk celery
½ yellow bell pepper
1 Tbs butter
4 cups chicken stock
¾ cup cream or coconut milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Heat a dutch oven on medium. Add the pat of butter, then all the vegetables, cooking until soft.
Add the stock.
Let this cool and puree in the food processor.
Return to the pot and add cream or coconut milk.
Stir and simmer on low until ready to serve. Sprinkle nutmeg on each serving.