Larry Hoffman loves being in the kitchen. Whether he is trying a new recipe from a cookbook he has just read and reviewed or is trying to put his own spin on a classic dish, Hoffman finds himself very at home in the kitchen. Hoffman’s day job also centers on food. As a reviewer of cookbooks, Hoffman sees a wide variety of different types of recipes from all over the world as well as many different ways to make all sorts of dishes. He publishes his reviews online at cookbookman.com. Hoffman is also the founder of dinesarasota.com, one of Sarasota’s first online dining guides. Hoffman and his wife, Suki, have lived on Siesta Key for 12 years.
Butternut Squash Soup
4 cups butternut squash, diced (1 inch pieces)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups, chicken stock
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. white pepper
½ Tbsp. salt
Sour cream, plain yogurt or crème fraiche
In a large heavy bottom stock pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, Cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic. Cook one minute more or until fragrant. Add diced squash. Stir to combine all ingredients in pot. Add chicken stock, salt and pepper stir through. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes (stir halfway through cooking time) until squash has cooked through and is mushy.
Remove pot from heat. Transfer soup to a blender in small batches. Process until very smooth. Return pureed soup to pot. Heat until just boiling. Serve in soup bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream, plain yogurt or crème fraiche.
A hearty, crusty bread is great with this.