Golden Winter Soup Leeks and potatoes provide the base for this hearty vegetable soup, and butternut squash adds a hint of sweetness. Gruy're toasts add a salty note.
2 tablespoons butter 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium) 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 cup half-and-half 12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruy€ ¢Ã¨re cheese 3 tablespoons chopped chives Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Preparation Preheat broiler. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; saut 3 minutes. Add leek; saut 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.
Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil bread slices 2 minutes or until golden. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Serve 2 bread slices with each serving. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Wine note This is one vegetable soup that can easily handle a lighter red wine. Stick with the French theme and look for bargains from Burgundy, like Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2005 ($20). This wine has pretty red berry fruit, great balance, and gentle tannins that make it ideal for lower-fat dishes. The underlying earthy, leathery flavors bring out the rustic nuances of the potatoes and squash.
Yield 8 servings
Nutritional Information CALORIES 329(30% from fat); FAT 10.9g (sat 6.2g,mono 3g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 12.8g; CHOLESTEROL 30mg; CALCIUM 217mg; SODIUM 813mg; FIBER 4.8g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.7g
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