for mlk weekend, three of my best girlfriends from the days when i was still "jessica" migrated west from cold-as-balls new york to oh-so-sunny san francisco. it was the first chance i've had for an east meets west dinner party, gathering some of the greatest women to have come through my life from both coasts at one dining table. and since living in new york pretty much means living in a breadbox, it was fun to get to play in the kitchen with my new york friends. we made fish en papillote, mushroom risotto but the star of the party was a deliciously rich brown-butter-nut squash soup. i’ve been making this soup all season long, and i have to say, double the butter makes double the deliciousness. butternut squash soup is already one of autumn and winter's finest treats but then when you layer in a rich and flavorful brown butter base, it's like adding a push-up bra to an already beautiful set of boobs. you're just elevating something that's already great to begin with - you don't need it but it definitely benefits from the extra oomf. and who couldn't use a little oomf every now and then?
brown-butter-nut squash soup
serves 6 to 8, as a starter