Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 l (4 cups) chicken broth, plus 250 ml (1 cup) for thinning
1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground thyme
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
Diced apple and fresh chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).
Brush cut side of squash with maple syrup and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lightly coated with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the olive oil. Bake 45 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool, scrape out the squash flesh, set aside.
In a 4-l (4-qt) saucepan, heat remaining 30 ml (2 tbsp) of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and apple. Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Add the cooked squash, 1 l (4 cups) broth, thyme, and nutmeg. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Once mixture has cooled, blend (in two batches) in food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat soup and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in fresh lemon juice and add more broth if soup is too thick. Garnish with apple and chives.
Makes 4 servings.
125 ml (1/2 cup) hot espresso coffee
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) maple syrup
125 ml (1/2 cup) liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Amaretto)
125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins
125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries
6 eggs, separated
2 475-g tubs of mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
12 ladyfinger cookies, broken in half
125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, grilled and chopped (optional)
60 ml (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
60 ml (1/4 cup) maple sugar
In a bowl, mix together the espresso and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the maple syrup, then add the liqueur and dried fruit. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
In another large bowl, beat the mascarpone, egg yolks, vanilla and remaining maple syrup. Carefully fold into the egg whites using a spatula.
Place 6 cookies in the bottom of a 3-l (12-cup) glass dish, then pour half of the dried fruit and coffee mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle half of the nuts and spread half the mascarpone filling on top. Repeat to create a second layer. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, then sprinkle with cocoa and maple sugar before serving.
Makes 12 servings.
Source: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers
-- The Canadian Press