With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, its time to open those cupboards and take stock of your tavola inventory! Everyone loves a good looking table whether it’s the gourmet food, fine table linens 😉 shiny tableware or lovely florals, lets face it, some of our best memories are formed around la tavola! For all your linen needs, La Tavola is here; we’ve got you covered! For all your other tavola needs, look to our blog for hundreds of fabulous ideas!

First and foremost – pick a linen! Here are some linen’s that are absolutely Fall…

Euphoria in Ecru

Peony in Harvest Gold

Twitter in Maize

Bozeman in Cashew

And to fill up those bowls, a recipe from Williams Sonoma – tried and adjusted by my mother! 😉

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Roasting the squash makes it easier to peel and seed, and deepens the flavor of its flesh, producing a richer, more flavorful soup.
2 large butternut squashes, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb.
1/3 cup hazelnuts
6 Tbs. olive oil
2 minced shallots
8 fresh – shredded thyme sprigs
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or canned broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Ground nutmeg, to taste, if needed
One crisp tart apple like granny smith or fuji
1/2 cup of good quality apple cider vinegar (1/4 will go into sauce-pan the other half will go into the whipping cream)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Prick each squash with the tip of a knife so it will not explode when it bakes. Place the whole squashes on a baking sheet and roast until they feel somewhat soft to the touch and a knife penetrates the skin easily, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds and fibers. Scoop out the pulp into a bowl and set aside.

While the squashes are cooling, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and the skins have loosened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, place the nuts in a kitchen towel. Rub the towel vigorously to remove the skins; do not worry if small bits of skin remain. Chop and set aside.

In a saucepan over low (medium) heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and thyme and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes until the apple is soft. Add the vinegar and stir until the moisture evaporates. Add the squash and cook for about five minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle. Process the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Over medium heat, make a roux with ½ cup flour and one stick of butter (one half cup). When roux is golden brown, add the stock and stir with a whisk. Add the squash pulp mixture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat.

Whip the cream just until thick or very soft peaks form. Fold in the other ¼ cider vinegar with a whisk.

Ladle the soup in bowls, add a generous dollop of cream and sprinkle 1 Tablespoon hazelnuts on top.

Serve.

And last but not least, a wine selection to warm you up around the table. The La Tavola Ladies recently made a trip out to Matanzas Winery where we were treated to a fine tasting and tour of the lavender fields and processing barn. We recommend any of their tasty reds to go along with your Roasted Squash soup!

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