The Cowgirl Creamery Cookbook is a must for any cheese-lover’s kitchen. Packed with stories, recipes and plenty of other reasons to gorge yourself on fine cheese, the cowgirls’ masterful new book is a great reason to neglect that brick of boring cheddar and open yourself up to something a little more exciting. This seasonal squash soup has a thick slice of creamy Humboldt Fog melting in the center, for instance.
This is our good friend Peg Janosch’s go-to recipe for drop-in guests. Peg has been our go-to person concerning finance and business development from the beginning. This bright, velvety soup forms a mellow backdrop to elegant, luscious Humboldt Fog. We love this method of placing a single slice of cheese on top of a warm bowl of soup just before serving. Make the soup ahead if you like but don’t add the cheese to the hot soup until you’ve ladled the soup into bowls and are ready to eat.
- 3 large crookneck squash
- 4 cups store-bought vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup raw corn kernels (from 1 ear of corn)
- 3 ounces Humboldt Fog cheese
- 2 tablespoons baby basil leaves or basil chiffonade
- Cut the squash into 1-inch chunks. Reserve a few squash chunks and cut them into fine pieces. Set the chunks and the pieces aside. Pour the broth into a large pot over medium-high heat.
- In a separate large soup pot, heat the 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the onion and cook over medium heat. (Decrease the heat to medium-low and give it a few more minutes if you’re not standing over the pot.) After a few minutes, add the garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Ladle in the warm stock and add the bigger chunks of squash. Don’t add the finely chopped squash yet.
- Simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Take the pot off the heat, let cool for at least 30 minutes and then puree the squash mixture in a blender or food processor. Push the pureed mixture through a medium-mesh strainer. (Don’t use a fine-mesh strainer, or the soup will be too thin.) At this point you can continue making the soup or refrigerate the soup (and don’t forget to tightly wrap up and refrigerate the reserved finely chopped squash).
- When ready to serve the soup, pour it into a pan over medium-low heat. In a skillet, melt the 2 teaspoons butter. Add the reserved finely chopped squash and the corn kernels, and sauté, stirring constantly, just until the squash and corn are heated. Take the skillet off the heat.
- Slice the cheese into six even pieces, and cut the rind from each piece. Discard the rinds.
- When the soup is hot, stir in the corn and squash bits.
- Ladle the soup into six bowls. Float one cheese slice into the center of each bowl of soup and top with baby basil leaves.
Chef’s Notes: If you warm the stock before you pour it into the soup, the final texture will be better. Pouring cold stock into a hot pan causes a film of butter and oil to rise to the top of the soup.
For a creamier soup, stir 2 tablespoons crème fraîche into each bowl of soup before you add the cheese and basil.
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