Tuscan Trip & Cooking Demonstration

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – L`École Culinaire is offering an international culinary program excursion to Tuscany, Italy, May 31 through June 7. Chef John Womick stopped by to tell Tim what the trip will include and prepared a sample of a dish students will prepare.

Those who make the trip are scheduled to stay in 14th century villa hotels located in Figline Valdarno and partake in hands-on cooking classes led by Chef Claudio Piantini.

The trip also includes authentic Italian meals and excursions throughout the Tuscan region of Italy, including a walking tour of Florence.

For a complete itinerary or to learn more about this culinary trip and how to schedule, please call L`École Culinaire at 314-587-2433.

Tuscan Squash Soup  adapted from Chef Claudo Piantini

3 to 4 pounds roasted - seeded squash [acorn, butternut, pumpkin]

1 large onion diced

1 clove garlic smashed

1 carrot diced

2 ribs celery diced

3T olive oil

2 Cups chicken Stock

2 Cups Tomato puree

1 tablespoon Sea salt

1 T freshly ground pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon

1t each fresh sage & thyme


1. Heat oil over medium heat and sweat the garlic- once the garlic aroma is noticeable add the onion. Once the onion starts to become opaque add the carrot, celery and the salt.

2. Once the vegetables begin to carmelize, add the roasted squash, chicken stock, tomato puree and pepper. Bring this to a simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Then add herbs.

3. Puree the soup until smooth- either by using an immersion blender or in a countertop blender* working in batches.

4. Return to pot and adjust seasonings.

* if using a traditional blender - to avoid a soup volcano - never fill more than half way and place a towel over the top - holding the lid down. Start on a low speed and slowly increase the speed.