#22: A recipe from Champaign-Urbana

I was recently on a business trip and had to travel to the Champaign-Urbana area.  It was colder at home (-19) and we actually had a lot more snow at home than even in the Chicago area.  I grabbed a copy of the local paper and there was a great article regarding the chef world’s move to  healthy cooking (as compared with the uber butter trends of the last two decades of the last century!).    

The article tracks Chef Michael McGreal’s cooking odyssey for a terminally ill woman.  He developed healthy recipes and cooked for her, her cancer went into remission, and then they appeared on the “Oprah” show.  This story does not have a happy ending;  his client went back to eating fast-food, the cancer returned aggressively, and she did not survive.    Of course this story caught my attention.  (How could it not?)  

I wanted to include this story with our Soup Challenge and also try Chef McGreal’s recipe for “Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Bisque.”  

Healthy eating does not need to be boring or unsatisfying.  The proof is below:

Chef McGreal’s recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Bisque

1 butternut squash
1/2 oz. diced onion
2 oz. butter
8 oz. chicken broth
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. cardamom
6 fresh sage leaves
1/8 t. ginger, minced
1/2 t. cracked black peppercorns
1 t. kosher salt

Cut butternut squash in half.  Clean seeds out from the insides and place squash face down on a sheet pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft.

Sweat onions in butter over medium heat until onions become wilted and lightly golden.  Add ginger and sage and sweat unti aromatic. 

 Scoop squash from skin and add squash meat to pot.  Add chicken broth.  Add cinnamon, salt, pepper and cardamom.  Puree in blender until smooth.  Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.

And, let’s always remember how precious life is and how we need to savor every moment, especially with delicious food!
Butternut Squash on FoodistaButternut Squash

2 comments to #22: A recipe from Champaign-Urbana