Thanksgiving is in five days. I know there are more than a handful of you out there who are expert procrastinators. You work best when your deadline is within reach.
This is for you. A Thanksgiving Inspiration Mini Series.
You'll likely read them throughout this week and pull it all together on Wednesday evening. You go girl!
Pick One item that is going to blow your guests' mind. Make the rest easy and simple. My suggestion is a killer first course. Wow your guests from jump street and they'll forget you burned the rolls.
Might I suggest, butternut squash soup with sage and ginger served in a mini pumpkin as your first course.
Because this soup is all about presentation, consider pre-setting it before guests sit down. It'll take a little finesse with timing as you don't want it to get cold, but you can pull it off. It adds color and interest to the table that makes it completely worth it.
The best part. This is so. EASY.
Shop your local farm stand for these mini pumpkins. While traditional orange is great, the contrast with the white is an unexpected spin. Carefully slice the top of the pumpkin off just as you would if you were carving. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and it's ready to go! If the pumpkin is a little wobbly, slice a very small from the bottom to make it level.
That's it! Next make your soup. I love The Joy of Cooking Butternut Squash Soup. It's delicious and simple. Why reinvent a classic. Bonus - it freezes well.
Butternut Squash Soup from Joy of Cooking
1 medium to large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 pounds)
3 Tbs unsalted butter or vegetable oil
2 large leeks
4 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place face down on a foil lined (recipe calls for oiled but I do foil lined for minimal clean up) baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until squash can easily be pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Let cool a bit, then scoop pulp from squash skin and discard skin.
Carefully clean leeks and chop, using white part only. Melt butter in a soup pot. Cook leeks and ginger 5 to 10 minutes, then stir in the squash. Add 4 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes. Use a spoon to periodically stir and to break up squash clumps. Puree until smooth. Then add 2 cups of stock and salt.
Tip: Garnish with fresh sage leaf for a unique presentation.
Photos: Molly Lo Photography
Wine Glass: Edge from Crate and Barrel
Water Glass: Lulie Stemless from Crate and Barrel