A friend came up with this butternut squash soup recipe, and when he served it, his elegant presentation wowed everyone. He placed one perfectly seared sea scallop in the middle of a bowl, ladled butternut squash soup around it, then topped the scallop with an elegant vegetable “purse” made from a egg roll wrapper tied with a chive. Once the crunchy purse opens, tasty vegetables inside it along with the crunchy egg roll wrapper provide additional flavor and texture to the soup. I thought it was ingenious. Each part could stand alone, but together they are a true treat.

Cooking scallops is easy when you keep a few techniques in mind: the best way is to sear them in a hot pan with clarified butter (also called ghee). Clarified butter has a much higher smoking point than butter because the milk solids and water have been removed. It’s not necessary to buy ghee, it is easy and less expensive to make yourself…which you’ll want to do after you check this out to learn about its unexpected health benefits. Once you add the scallops, don’t move them except for the flip. One and a half minutes per side is all they need. The centers should remain rare.

Frozen scallops are available year round. Recently, the Bozeman Co-op had fresh ones. They are from Maine and harvested by a diver (in fins) as opposed to being dredged up. They arrive “dry,” meaning they are not packed in seawater, and have no added nitrates. Scallops contain B12, magnesium, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that can promote your cardiovascular health, plus provide protection against colon cancer.

Starchy butternut squash offers some key health benefits: it contains antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and has insulin-regulating properties. This soup recipe has a bit of an Asian flair thanks to the coconut milk, which is a healthy fat opposed to cream. You could add curry to the onions at the beginning, but I prefer not to mask its delicate flavor.

The vegetable purses are so easy but look they came out of a high-end kitchen. They are made form egg roll wrappers. I had a hard time finding gluten free egg roll wrappers in Bozeman, so I ordered these and they worked well. Sauté about a cup of chopped vegetables for a few minutes in butter, then put a tablespoon or two in the center of the wrapper, paint just the edges with butter, then gently pinch together to form each “purse.” Much easier to make than you’d think!

Butternut Squash Soup with Sea Scallops and Vegetable “Purses”
Print Recipe
This elegant entree beautifully combines butternut squash soup, a perfectly seared sea scallop, and a crunchy vegetable "purse".
Servings
4-6
Servings
4-6
Butternut Squash Soup with Sea Scallops and Vegetable “Purses”
Print Recipe
This elegant entree beautifully combines butternut squash soup, a perfectly seared sea scallop, and a crunchy vegetable "purse".
Servings
4-6
Servings
4-6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Butternut Squash Soup
  1. Skin and seed one butternut squash. Chop into cubes and toss with one tablespoon of coconut cream (from the top of the can). Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside. In a separate pot, sweat 1-2 yellow onions in butter and coconut cream (again from the top of the can) until soft. Add cooked butternut squash, chicken stock, and the remaining clear coconut cream/milk from the can. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until cooked through. Puree in a blender, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If it’s too thick, thin it out with water or stock.
Vegetable Purses
  1. The vegetable “purses” are made of (square) egg roll wrappers. Sauté about one cup crisp vegetables chopped finely (I used shallots, red pepper, carrots, and celery), season to taste, and set aside. (They don't need to cook all the way through as they'll be cooked again). Chop up the side muscles from scallops and add to the vegetable mix. Cut egg roll wrappers in half to form two rectangles. When cool, place 1-2 tablespoons in the center of a buttered sheet of egg roll wrapper. Draw the edges together into a purse, press together, and tie off with a softened chive (toss it into boiling water for 30 seconds to soften). Drizzle with melted butter and bake in a 350-375 degree oven until lightly browned (less than ten minutes). 


Scallops
  1. Bring sea scallops to room temperature. Heat a medium saucepan until hot, add clarified butter (ghee) and melt. Add scallops, do not move them around. Let them sear for about 1 ½ minutes until nicely browned. Flip, cook for another minute or so on second side so they are still “rare” in the center. Place a seared scallop in center of each bowl, spoon soup around the scallops, and carefully place a vegetable purse on top of the scallop. Serve piping hot.
Options
  1. If desired, add a touch of curry powder to the onions. Optional garnishes: drizzle some pumpkin seed oil and top with roasted pumpkin seeds, or drizzle soup with reduced balsamic vinegar for a nice added acidity.
Clarified butter
  1. In a small saucepan, melt a stick of butter (or three) over medium-high heat. Continue to cook over medium-high heat; an even layer of white milk proteins will float to the surface. Bring to a boil; the milk proteins will become foamy. Lower heat to medium and continue to gently boil; the milk proteins will break apart. As the butter gently boils, the milk proteins will eventually sink to the bottom of the pot, and the boiling will begin to calm and then cease. Once boiling has stopped, pour butter through a paper towel-lined strainer or through a coffee filter into a heatproof container to remove browned milk solids. Let cool, then transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps for an amazing 6 months in the refrigerator. Great for everything from perfect scrambled eggs to cooking vegetables to searing a well-earned ribeye.
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