You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to fall in love with the food at Candle 79 in New York City. I’m certainly an omnivore, but this restaurant is one of my favorite places on the planet to eat; I never miss an opportunity to go whenever I’m in the city. The folks at Candle 79 always create such delicious food and such a delightful eating experience.
Imagine my pleasure when the new Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos & Jorge Pineda arrived on my desk! They noted Earthbound in the book’s Resources section because they “use and love” our products in their restaurants (the ever-elegant Candle 79 and the less-formal Candle Café) and want to help bring attention to other companies with a like mission to provide people with the healthiest, most delicious food possible.
This beautiful volume includes a range of recipes from appetizers and salads through entrées and desserts — even some spectacular drinks — accompanied by photos that make my mouth water. It’s not necessarily a beginner’s cookbook, but it will surely change your mind about sustainability tasting like sacrifice. This food is just good.
At Earthbound we’ve always been committed to organic as the healthiest choice for people and the planet. In my own cookbooks I’ve celebrated how delicious organic foods can be. For me, eating at Candle 79 is like communing with kindred flavor spirits; now we can all bring some of their delicious dishes home to enrich our family tables when we can’t get to New York to join theirs.
The Candle 79 Cookbook is available on Amazon, at the restaurants, and at major booksellers — taste it now with this recipe for Butternut Squash-Chestnut Soup with Caramelized Pears.
Myra Goodman is co-founder, with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm. A prolific and creative cook, she's also authored two cookbooks: Food to Live By and The Earthbound Cook.
Butternut Squash-Chestnut Soup with Caramelized Pears
Serves 6 to 8
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole nutmeg, halved
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
2 cardamom pods
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 dried chipotle chiles
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and pale green parts, rinsed and finely chopped
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 cup drained canned or jarred chestnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
8 cups water
1 tablespoon grapeseed or safflower oil
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Put the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, lemongrass, cardamom pods, ginger and chipotle peppers in cheesecloth. Knot securely or tie with string and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the squash, chestnuts, sage, cheesecloth pouch and water. The water should cover the squash by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, cover and simmer until the squash is tender and falls apart, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
To make the caramelized pears, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the pears and sauté for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pears are soft and the liquid becomes syrupy and coats the pears. Set aside to cool.
To finish the soup, remove the cheesecloth pouch and discard. Add the maple syrup and salt to taste. Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth, or process the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. If the soup seems too thick, add a bit more water.
To serve, gently reheat the soup, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with the caramelized pears and serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.