Honey Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

“Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don’t catch steak hanging around when you’re poor and sick, do you?”
Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

Ingredients:

2 butternut squash (about 2 lbs each)
4 carrots, peeled
½ pound parsnips, peeled
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup honey
3/4 stick butter
9 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon mace
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
Pitch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side up, in a large roasting pan. Cut the carrots and parsnips into small pieces, and scatter them, along with the onion, around the squash. Sprinkle the cut surfaces of the squash with the honey and dot all over with the butter. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the broth into the pan and cover it tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake until all the vegetables are very soft, about 2 hours.

Carefully remove the foil and let the vegetables cool slightly. Scoop the squash out of the skins and place it in heavy soup pot. Add the other vegetables, juice from the pan and the remaining 6 ½ cups of broth. Season with the mace, crystallized ginger, cayenne and salt. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 10 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or by batches in a blender or food processor until it is very smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add extra broth, if necessary, to thin it to the desired consistency. Heat it through. This soup can be refrigerated or frozen, but there is unlikely to be any soup leftover.

Serves 10

Chicken Tikka Masala With Honey

This traditional Indian dish, popularized in England, consists of grilled chicken breast marinated in yogurt and Indian spices, simmered in a rich tomato-cream sauce.

Makes 4-6 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

CHICKEN TIKKA MARINADE:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2” pieces

1 cup yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 teaspoons salt

MASALA SAUCE:

2 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded & finely diced

1 small white onion, finely diced

8 ounces tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes

1 cup heavy cream, ½ & ½ or non-fat yogurt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon fenugreek (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

PROCEDURE:

CHICKEN TIKKA:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Add chicken, toss in marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight. The longer the chicken marinates the tenderer and flavorful it will be. Preheat a grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water. Discard remaining marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side.

MASALA SAUCE:

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic, jalapeno and onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with cumin, paprika and garam masala. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, cilantro, mint and fenugreek. Add and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper & honey to taste. Add cayenne pepper if you would like to make it spicier. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with basmati rice.