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Cooking with Jessica at the CATH

By Paula Roberts

Hometown Weekly Reporter

On October 17,  2023, a lucky group of chefs, who registered before the class, were treated to a wonderful lesson on cooking Butternut Squash Soup by Jessica Weiss at the Center at the Heights (CATH). Chefs gathered in kitchen at the Center, which is a modern, beautifully kept space, which provided the perfect backdrop for this culinary adventure. Jessica Weiss, the expert instructor of the lesson, was enthusiastic, ready to teach her students how to make a delicious fall soup, making it accessible to all. 

This intimate group of soup lovers arrived ready to learn from Weiss. The soup had been started by Weiss preheating the oven to 400 degrees, roasting halved whole squashes until they became soft and easily blended with the other ingredients. Notably, this step can be prepared in advanced, such as the day before.

Weiss then moved on to cook carrots, onions, celery, and granny smith apples in a pot, using either in olive or canola oil to sauté until the vegetables were soft. The apples and carrots were peeled. Weiss used an emersion blender to keep maintain a creamy consistency, adding water as needed.

After the squash had roasted for an hour and fifteen minutes, Weiss allowed the squash to cool before peeling it and removing the seeds. Weiss combined the squash with the vegetables and three cups of low sodium vegetable broth at low heat in the large pot.

The emersion blender worked it’s magic until the entire mixture was completely smooth. Weiss reminded the group of soup lovers that the temperature of the soup is a personal preference and can range anywhere from warm to hot. The end result was a luscious, flavorful blend, leaving everyone excited to have a taste.

The class lasted about an hour and the chefs were treated to enjoying the fantastic product Weiss had created. Most of the attendees had second helpings! This soup freezes well in small containers, Weiss reported; that is, ff there is any left over. It was easy to tell that the group was eager for our next cooking lesson with Jessica.

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