I was on a weekend road trip to the Borscht Belt and had dinner at a popular barbecue place outside of Kingston.
It seemed like a wonderful idea on a cool but sunny day, and the place had come highly recommended.
The Hickory Barbecue & Smokehouse, on the Onteora Trail (Route 28) in the Catskill town of Ulster, is a family enterprise that was opened in the early ’70s by Michael and Carol Slutzky — known at the restaurant as “Doc Hickory” and “Ma Hickory.”
(Ma Hickory visited with us tableside for a while, urging us to clean our plates because "there are children starving in Europe.")
Today, the rustic restaurant is owned and operated by their son, Steven, and his wife Jill, who works the front of the house. Doc and Ma still drive up from the city each weekend to help out.
I’ll have a lot more to say about the barbecue in a review in The Sunday Gazette, but I thought the timing was right to share one of the special soups featured at the restaurant — Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Sour Cream.
It’s reprinted here with permission.
Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Sour Cream
This is a big recipe which serves 12.
5 lbs. butternut squash or any sweet winter squash
4 stalks celery
6 cloves garlic
3 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash in a baking pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven until soft. When squash is cool, scoop out the meat and set aside.
In a soup pot, sweat celery, onions, and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add stock. When it boils, add the squash meat and return to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Spiced sour cream: To one cup of sour cream, add 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. cloves, and ¼ tsp. ground ginger. Mix and dollop on soup.
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