The Pasta Pentola is very versatile; the size of this cookware works well for making stock. It allows for the stock to develop and become the foundation for the rest of a soup. It’s tall and narrow and so there is less evaporation. For this classic butternut squash soup, I like the added flavor of Virginia ham, but vegetarians can make mushroom stock, which would work nicely with the squash and sage. Serve at home informally with a nice loaf of bread and salad or prepare as a Thanksgiving dish.
For the Ham Stock (prepare up to 3 days ahead of time): Combine all of the ingredients in the AllClad 7-QT Pasta Pentola. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 4 hours. Test the ham hock for tenderness and cook longer if necessary. Carefully remove the ham hock from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a container. Strain the stock from all of the solids through a mesh strainer into a separate container. Cover both containers and refrigerate until needed
For the soup: Add the canola oil to the AllClad 7-QT Pasta Pentola and place over medium-low heat. When the oil reaches 325 degrees, add the sage leaves to fry until they begin to appear slightly translucent – about 30 seconds. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer and transfer them to a dish lined with paper towels. Next, fry about a third of the onions, gently and stirring frequent until they become golden brown then remove them from the oil as you did for the sage leaves. Repeat the frying process with the remaining onions in two separate batches. Set the fried sage and onions aside for later. Allow the oil to cool somewhat, then carefully pour off the oil and discard it.
Add the stock and garlic to the pentola and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add the butternut squash and cover the pot. While the squash is cooking remove the skin from the ham hock and discard it. Pick the meat from the bones then discard the bones. Roughly dice the ham hock meat into half inch cubes and set aside. Once the butternut squash is tender to the point of falling apart, puree the soup using an All-Clad Immersion Blender, until the texture is very smooth.
At this point the soup can be chilled for service later if desired, otherwise, proceed by adding a cup of Crème Fraiche to the hot soup and blending it in until homogenous. Stir in the ham hocks and sliced sage then remove from the heat. Ladle the soup into your desired serving bowls and