This recipe was featured during the September 20, 2014, cooking demonstration and sampling at the market. Students at the F.D. Myers Education Center of the regional WSWHE BOCES and guest chefs from the Saratoga & Glens Falls Chapter of the American Culinary Federation worked to create several dishes featuring market ingredients.
The event was co-organized by the Saratoga Farmers’ Market and BOCES Chef Instructor Maureen Clancy, who is also president of the local ACF chapter. The event coincided with the 30th Anniversary celebration for the market’s neighbor, the Saratoga Springs City Center.
*Ingredients can be purchased at the market
2 medium (2 1/2 pounds each) butternut squash*, each cut lengthwise in half, seeds removed
4 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 medium stalks celery*, chopped
2 large shallots*, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot*, chopped
3 sprig(s) fresh thyme*
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh sage leaves*
24 sage leaves*, for garnish
Salt and pepper
1 carton(s) (32-ounce) chicken broth
2 cup(s) water
2 ounce(s) French or farmhouse bread*, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 cups)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pan with foil. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in prepared pan and roast 45 minutes or until very tender when pierced with knife. Cool until easy to handle; with spoon, scoop squash from shells and place in large bowl. Discard shells.
Meanwhile, in 5- to 6- quart saucepot, heat 2 tablespoons oil on medium until hot. Add celery, shallots, and carrot; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in thyme, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cook vegetable mixture 2 minutes longer.
Add broth, water, and squash to pot; cover and heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat remaining oil on medium-high until hot. Add sage leaves; cook 1 minute or until sage is crisp. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add bread to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring. Transfer to plate with sage.
Discard thyme and bay leaf. Working in batches, ladle squash mixture into blender. With center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend mixture until pureed; return to pot. Reheat on low, stirring in additional water for desired thickness.
To serve, ladle soup into shallow bowls; garnish with croutons and sage leaves.