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Seattlest gets jealous, makes soup

Over at Seattlest, the soupe du jour is butternut squash with pear, cider, and vanilla bean, a homespun knock-off of a dish from one of my favorite local spots.

I’ve never been one for trying to recreate restaurant meals, but the soup I had at Crow was sufficiently delicious to warrant a go, and anyway, if I may be so bold—trained chefs of the world, please forgive me!—I thought I could make it even better. The original restaurant version was wonderfully light—almost frothy, really—but unabashedly opaque with cream; and its vanilla flavor, though dainty, was almost veering toward dessert. Using this recipe as a template, I aimed for a velvety but only lightly creamy soup, with just a subtle stroke of vanilla and a good, oomphy dose of pear. The results have me feeling like a proud parent. If you were in the vicinity of downtown Seattle at noon today, that scraping noise was me in my office, going after the last mouthful in the bowl.


Anonymous lauren said...

Hi Molly,
I've been making a roasted kabocha squash soup this fall with intensely caramelized onion and sauteed apples. No dairy, just stock. And then I puree the lot.
I top it with fried sage leaves and a drizzle of creme fraiche.
Oh so good.

9:01 PM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Michèle said...

Oh dear, that sounds absolutely delicious. I have been craving butternut squash for a few weeks now. It seems its hard to find in Paris--but someone tipped me off to a particular market that might have them so I think I should get myself over there asap. I would never have thought to put vanilla in the soup, but it sounds great.

1:29 AM, November 23, 2005  
Blogger Ruth said...

Molly your version sounds delicious....and so does Lauren's. I'll have to make both of them.

Thanks for sharing.

4:38 AM, November 23, 2005  
Blogger foodiechickie said...

LOOOOL!!! So funny. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Molly.

7:48 AM, November 23, 2005  
Anonymous Nicky said...

Dear Molly,
this soup looks so unbelievably good, you can literally see its "velvety" texture! Did I mention, that I looove butternut soups of any kind? And the use of vanilla makes it even more tempting. But best of all is your attempt to recreate some delicious restaurant dish. I've done this a couple of times , sometimes I suceeded, sometime I fail miserably, but hey, you'll never know until you try ;)

8:37 AM, November 24, 2005  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Molly, this soup looks SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. Genius!

9:10 AM, November 24, 2005  
Anonymous keiko said...

Molly, I can't resist this!

11:10 AM, November 24, 2005  
Blogger michelle said...

Oh Molly,
I don't know how you do it, but you're a genius - that sounds soooo good...and your version sounds even better than theirs!

12:49 PM, November 26, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Lauren, your soup sounds wonderful! I'll bet roasting and caramelizing adds to the flavor tremendously. I love the clean sweetness of a soup made with sauteed and boiled squash, but I've been discovering lately--with the help of Brandon, Mr. Everything Tastes Better Caramelized--that a base of caramelized onions can add wonderfully to a soup, spaghetti sauce, or whathaveyou. Something tells me that one of us will be trying your soup very, very soon...

Michele, I'm glad you approve, and I hope you were able to find the squash! For all its pleasures, Paris can certainly make life difficult sometimes. Grrrr. And as for the vanilla, you know, I owe it all to the chefs at Crow. I wouldn't have thought of it either, but once I'd tasted it, it seemed so intuitive. And too delicious to not try to recreate myself! Miam, miam.

Ruth, I'm happy to share. Thank you!

Foodiechickie, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of all sorts of deliciousness.

Nicky, my dear, you have very good taste in soups! And as far as recreating restaurant dishes goes, this one didn't seem too daunting, especially because I had a sort of template to work from, a soup I already knew and loved. A few tweaks here, a little subtracting, a little adding, and poof! Easy peasy, or sort of.

Melissa, I have to say in all honesty that it is soooooooo good! This soup makes me very proud, even if I really can't take credit for its genius. Yum.

Keiko, me neither!

And Michelle, thank you! I dare say it was better, but then again, I made it the way I like winter squash soups--not heavy on the cream (or without it, period), bright-tasting, and with just a few simple elements.

2:09 PM, November 26, 2005  
Blogger darlamay said...

Love your blog! I've posted a link to you on my blog: www.messycucina.com

I'm from Spokane, but live in Iowa temporarily while my husband goes to grad-school--- Say hello to Washington for me!

9:27 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Shauna said...

Now you've gone and done it, my dear. As I wrote in my last post, I seemed to have spent the better part of the weekend making all your recent recipes. The brussel sprouts were tremendous. But this soup? Ee gad, it was good. I had roasted butternut squash already done, so I used that instead. And sadly, I didn't have a vanilla bean at hand, so I had to use good bourbon vanilla extract. Still, it was marvelous. And with grated gruyere on top....

10:16 PM, November 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did it again. You understand you're a genius, yes? You floored everyone at Thanksgiving, including habitually taciturn types! Mmmm!


11:26 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Darla, it's lovely to meet you, and congratulations on your new(-ish) blog! I love its name, by the way. Welcome to the community!

Shauna, great minds clearly think alike! While I didn't put gruyere directly on top of my soup, I did eat some alongside, with a good hunk of crusty bread. Yum. Thank you, as always, for your unflagging enthusiasm...

And Lisa, really, I should be paying you to do publicity for me! Thank you, m'dear.

12:55 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger nosheteria said...

Molly, I made this soup last night, and it was delicious! I had only made butternut squash soup with green apple and seasoned with a bit of curry powder, but your soup was a sweet, mellow change. Thanks for the recipe!

6:09 PM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Nosheteria, you're clearly a woman of excellent taste, so I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it. I too am a big fan of the butternut-apple-curry combination, but I thought this snazzy little twist was pretty fine...

8:09 PM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

I made this 2 nights ago, from your new book. Loved it! Although I was cheap abuot the vanilla and used the beans to make ice cream and only the pod for the soup. It was wonderful! great recipe. Loved the pears.

9:33 AM, March 13, 2009  
Anonymous Gigi said...

I've become a hopeless addict to this soup. I've made it 4 times since November and will probably develop a lovely shade of orange to my skin (my new winter tan). Anyway, thanks a million for your site. I am working my way through it (to the detriment of my bum, but hey that's what Wii fit is for).

BTW, that green cabbage welcome takes some getting use to...I found the chocolate-n-orange header so sooothing.

6:37 PM, January 14, 2010  
Anonymous Laura said...

I finally tried your butternut squash soup with pear, cider and vanilla tonight. Yum yum! I paired it with the cider glazed salmon from your book for a very special dinner. We actually enjoyed everything so much that I posted it on my little food blog. Nooncafe.com. Thank you for your delicious recipes!!

10:53 PM, October 16, 2010  
Blogger janet @ the taste space said...

Your soup was delicious even though I modified it for a vegan crowd. The vanilla pairs so well with the sweet pear and squash. :)

9:00 PM, October 14, 2011  
Blogger janet @ the taste space said...

Oh, I wrote about it here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/butternut-squash-soup-with-pear-cider-and-vanilla-bean/

9:00 PM, October 14, 2011  
Anonymous Miki said...

OMG, I just made your soup (from your book) and it is soooooo good! Thank you Molly, and have an excellent Christmas!!

11:55 AM, December 12, 2013  

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