TODD SCHULTE | Genessee Royale Bistro, Happy Gillis, Uncommon Stock (a new, weekend-only soup company run from the garage of Happy Gillis)
By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA
What are your Thanksgiving plans? “We just decided we’re going to host Thanksgiving again this year at the restaurant with family and friends, so I gotta start getting my game on to see what I’m going to be serving.”
Where do you get inspiration for your holiday menu? “I start plowing through all the magazines that have turkeys on the front of them. I like the produce that time of year. I can’t put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. I’m not saying it doesn’t have its place, but I like doing different applications with sweet potatoes, or greens, or whatever. My favorite book of all time is “Culinary Artistry” (Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown/Bulfinch Press, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page). It’s a fabulous book. And then they have a book called “What to Drink With What You Eat.” Amazing. The two of them are front and center on my book shelf.”
What is bacon marmalade? When Schulte first served his Apple-Bacon Marmalade with soft-boiled sous vide eggs, none of his customers knew what the smoky, salty, sweet porky condiment was. “Then it was like, can I get that on a burger? I don’t even look for it at work anymore, because I know I could just stand there at the refrigerator with a spoon.”
How to wrangle a butternut squash: 1. Wear gloves: “I don’t know what it is, if it’s an enzyme that comes out of the squash or what, but it develops that dry cracking on your hands that you have to peel off.” 2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove a bit more than the skin; peel down past the green lines to expose the orange flesh.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Apple-Bacon Marmalade
Makes 24 (8-ounce) servings
2 pounds diced nice-quality, thick-cut bacon, cooked and drained of fat (Schulte prefers bacon from Bichelmeyer’s in Kansas City, Kan.)
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped into small dice
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and chopped into small dice
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper
5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and quartered with seeds removed
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with a knife
4 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6 medium-sized carrots, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
10 cups chicken stock (preferably made by you or a friend), plus more as needed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Freshly cracked black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg to garnish
For the marmalade: Over medium heat, combine all ingredients in a pot and cook slowly until liquid becomes syrup-like, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to be sure the mixture does not begin to scorch. Season marmalade with salt and pepper, remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. To serve, reheat gently in a saucepan.
For the soup: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the cut vegetables (squash, garlic, onions, carrots) with olive oil and thyme in a large bowl. Toss all ingredients together and give it a nice amount of seasoning with salt and pepper. Place all vegetables in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan in a single layer. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or so, stirring vegetables occasionally, allowing them to get all brown and delicious-looking, otherwise known as GBD (golden brown delicious) or caramelized.
Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and place them in a heavy-bottomed 6-quart soup pot. Simmer vegetables on medium heat for 20 minutes; allow to cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup using an immersion blender until smooth, adding chicken broth until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Finish by stirring in the heavy cream.
Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish with a dollop of Apple-Bacon Marmalade and freshly grated nutmeg.
Per serving: 393 calories (58 percent from fat), 27 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 44 milligrams cholesterol, 27 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 614 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.