Normally my Thanksgiving meal is a collection of bottles I’ve cellared, be it in Chicago or at my parents in Fort Lauderdale. Due to family location changes, we skipped Chicago thanksgivings and have been focusing on Fort Lauderdale. However, the bottle list there is now depleted. So this year it was just making some good beer choices for a party with a few that would fit with dinner for the beer-loving guests. The highlight ended up being the Troubadour Obscura “Mild” Stout paired with a butternut squash soup.
Not so mild at 8.2% ABV, but absolutely delicious. Balanced in the middle, with some sweetness and cherry-fig notes, as well as caramel and cardamom, chicory and dark chocolate powder. Creamy effervescence that fits the style name, and helps fit this pairing. Dry enough finish makes it easy to keep grabbing your glass. You’ll need a 2nd one if you plan to pair it beyond the soup.
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe:
Approximately 2lbs of butternut squash, seeded and peeled, 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, large dice
1 tablespoon of butter
1 quart veggie broth
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp curry powder (sweet, yellow variety)
1.5 tsp kosher salt
0.5 tsp ground cloves
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of sugar
3 cloves of garlic, thickly sliced
1.5 tsp cinnamon
Optional Idea: Roast half of the butternut squash, while sauteeing the other half.
Heat oil, medium-high, add squash and onion, stirring infrequently until the squash starts to turn brown at the edges. Reduce heat and add butter, sugar, garlic, salt. Cook until onion and squash are spotty caramel color, stirring frequently now to avoid burning. Add spices, and continue to saute for up to one minute until fragrant. Add veggie broth, bring to a simmer over higher heat, then reduce hit and simmer for 10 minutes (squash should be tender).
Blend. (Immersion blender works great, a vitamix with variable speed even better)
Return to pot and add 1/4 cup or so of heavy cream, 1 cup of half and half, or 1.5 cups of whole milk. The idea is to add enough so the mixture is soup-like, but thick enough that a garnish could float on top.
Garnish ideas: curried apples, apple chips, pickled apples, spicy pickled carrots, cinnamon-and-sugar toasted nuts