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Williams-Sonoma’s Thanksgiving offers 40 recipes that reflect the company’s signature good taste. From traditional and “new” holiday starters like Butternut Squash Chowder (recipe below) and Mixed Greens with Bacon-Wrapped Figs. Main-course birds, dressings, breads, and other accompaniments are represented with the likes of classic roast turkey, corn bread, and pumpkin pie.
Accompanied by color photos that show the dishes in all their glory, the recipes are completely doable, and will appeal to a wide range of cooks. Throughout, sidebars (like “Biscuit Savvy”) offer useful information on techniques and ingredients; a glossary and basics section are also helpful. Though small in size, the book provides an inclusive store of superior recipes and instruction. –Arthur Boehm
Butternut Squash Chowder
Over time, chowder became synonymous with a type of thick, hearty soup that can be prepared with a variety of ingredients. Like our butternut squash version, classic chowders typically include chunks of potatoes or other vegetables, which add texture and substance.
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage, plus small sage
leaves for garnish
4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (32 oz.) butternut squash puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Make-Ahead Tips: Make the soup (withholding the cream) up to 1 day in advance. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until just before serving time. When reheating the soup, stir in the cream.