Serves 4 hungry people
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (seeds scooped out & saved)
1 small acorn squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves or garlic, peeled and smashed (don't worry about mincing)
4 cups chicken stock
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or less if desired. You can also use some sage)
salt and pepper
chopped Tai chilies
creme fraiche (or sour cream)
sauteed thick cut bacon or salted and cured pork, sliced thin
seeds from one of the squashes (saute in the bacon fat for maximum flavor, and drained on paper towels)
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cubed squashes and saute for 2-3 minutes or until they start to get some caramelizing color. Add the garlic and saute one minute, stirring often to prevent it from burning (or it will become bitter). Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, covered for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender. With an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. If using a food processor or blender, let the soup cool a bit before processing. Adjust the consistency to your liking with extra water. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish as desired.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated
½ cup chopped herbs (I like thyme and chives)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add cornmeal and whisk together.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and, using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed until butter is the size of small peas.
Add the Gruyere and herbs and mix just until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Put the buttermilk and cream together in one bowl or liquid measuring cup, and then slowly add to the mixture on low speed until it is just combined and there is a little flour left on the bottom of the bowl. You may not need all of the liquid (I only used about 2/3 of it)!
Empty the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface.
Pat the dough together and work in any pieces of dry dough.
Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough, and, either using a rolling pin or just your hands, press the dough until it is about 1 ½ inches thick.
Using a circular cookie cutter, dipped in a little flour each time, cut out the scones.
Feel free to roll any scraps together and cut those, too.
(Alternatively, you can shape the mound of dough into a rectangle about 9 by 6 inches, divide the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut each piece into 6 even triangles.)
Place scones onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Brush the beaten egg onto the tops of the scones and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, or until light brown on top.
Yields about 12 smaller scones or 6 big scones.