Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Roasting the squash makes it easier to peel and seed, and deepens the flavor, producing a richer, more flavorful soup.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Prick each squash several times with the tip of a knife before baking. Place the whole squashes on a baking sheet and roast until they feel somewhat soft to the touch and a knife penetrates the skin easily, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds and fibers. Scoop out the pulp into a bowl and set aside.
While the squashes are cooling, reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and the skins have loosened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, place the nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Rub the towel vigorously to remove the skins; do not worry if small bits of skin remain. Chop and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions and half of the sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the stock and squash pulp, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat.
Let the soup cool and, working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to a clean saucepan. (If using an immersion blender, blend right away, in pot.) Reheat gently over medium–low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and, if the squash is starchy rather than sweet, add a little nutmeg. If the nutmeg does not give the proper flavor balance, add a pinch of sugar.
Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the hazelnuts and remaining sage. Serve immediately.
Smoked turkey can be more flavorful and tender than one roasted in the oven. Since you don't stuff a smoked turkey, we have a delicious stovetop stuffing recipe (provided below) for you and your guests to enjoy.
Soaking chicken in a seasoned saltwater brine ensures the bird will emerge flavorful and, most importantly, moist. Consequently, the timing is a little less fussy when you're cooking: it's no big deal if you leave the chicken on the grill or in the oven a few minutes too long. After placing the poultry in the brine, refrigerate until ready to cook.
Basic Poultry Brine
Stove–Top Turkey Stuffing
Fresh Cranberry & Orange Relish