Robert Mondavi Winery - Wine Club

Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Creme Fraiche

Prepared by Chef Jeff Mosher
Pair with 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay
Serves 8

Pomegranate Crème Fraîche
1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
1 cup crème fraîche
3 Tbsp. fresh pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

5 pounds butternut squash
2 medium yellow onions
2 heads of garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1 bunch English thyme
4 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Pomegranate Crème Fraîche
Reduce pomegranate juice to about two tablespoons and let cool. Whip the Crème Fraîche in a mixer or by hand with a whisk until you have stiff peaks. Fold in reduced pomegranate juice and a pinch of salt with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparing the Soup
Cut butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Brush with a neutral oil like grapeseed. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a 350° oven for approximately 30-45 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a knife. It should slide easily into the squash. While the squash is roasting, rough chop the onions and garlic. Sweat the onions in a large soup pot with a little oil on low head for 8 minutes, then add chopped garlic and sweat an additional 5 minutes. Now, add the white wine and reduce it until it just covers the bottom of the pot. While waiting for the squash to finish cooking, place the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns into some cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine.

When the squash is done, let it cool until it is easy to handle, then scoop it out of its skin and add it to the soup pot. Add vegetable stock and your herb bundle. Simmer for 20 minutes to let the flavors come together. Remove herb bundle and add soup contents to a blender. Blend until smooth, and taste. Adjust seasoning and add a spoonful of whipped Crème Fraîche. Serve immediately.