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Back in December 2011 I made a slightly more complicated soup with a ricotta/apple/rosemary garnish. It’s 7:30 p.m. I have a headache. I just want some soup for the soul. I can feel that I’ve strayed away from a more vegan-esque diet and I feel blah. Nothing that a good dose of garlic can’t heal (at least it keeps away the vampires).

I was reminiscing about a week I spent in Italy attending a symposium on food and wine. (I was actually one of the organizers.) Crossing Lago di Bolsena with Ruth Reichl, listening to author Bill Buford animatedly reading from his book, buying fresh porchette at a local market with California Cuisine Guru Michael McCarty, and sitting on a farm, Casa Caponetti, while Dan Barber (exec chef and owner of Blue Hill Farm)  spoke of farm to table cooking. It’s something about the start of fall, the bursts of orange throughout the landscape, the bounty of fresh ingredients that makes me think of Tuscania, Italy, and all the wonderful lessons I learned.

Listening to Dan et al speak and watching their passion is what started me on my journey, Laptop2tabletop. My ingredients are fresh and local when available. I wanted to try Dan Barber’s recipe for crispy Tuscan kale; I thought it might be a nice garnish to the soup. I didn’t have any fresh kale, let alone Tuscan kale. Would frozen work? I can picture Dan Barber cringing at the thought.

The kale wasn’t amazing, and the soup wasn’t as amazing as the one I mention above, but they were good enough. And it was an excuse to use another can of pumpkin. I had some roasted beets that I diced for garnish too. It added some color and nutrients to a soul-soothing soup.

Autumn Bisque with Crispy Kale

autumn bisque with crispy kaleWhat you need:

  • 1/2 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 tbs Devo Olive Oil Chipotle EVOO* (can’t wait to try the wild mushroom and sage)
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 8 oz frozen kale

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Place squash in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes until caramelized.
  • Remove from oven, turn and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, being careful not to burn. (Oops, like I did.)
  • Remove squash from oven and baking sheet and set aside.
  • Place kale on sheet in single layer.
  • Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place in oven and bake about 10 min.
  • Remove and set aside.
  • In large pot, heat olive oil until it starts smoking.
  • Add onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add roasted squash, broth and soy or coconut milk.
  • Using immersion blender, process until smooth.
  • Pour soup into serving dishes.
  • Garnish with crispy kale.