Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6-8

Here’s a simple soup you can prepare at any point in the fall or winter, when the butternut squash is abundant, and seemingly always available.  Roast the squash in the over before adding it to the soup and the prep for this otherwise hard-to-peel vegetable is a snap.  While this recipe doesn’t call for any seasoning beyond salt and pepper, butternut squash soup pairs well with sage or thyme, or if you’re missing Thanksgiving (or making the soup on that day) cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove are a wonderful addition to this otherwise savory soup.

Ingredients:
1 onion
4 carrots
1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeds removed
2 medium potatoes (thin skinned red or white potatoes work best)
6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place butternut squash face down on an oiled baking sheet, place in preheated oven.
Prepare the soup base while the butternut squash roasts (approx. 40 minutes, or until tender).
Chop onion.
Peel and chop carrots into ½ inch rounds.
Scrub potatoes. Chop each potato into 6 even pieces.  Do not peel.
Sautee onion in olive oil, salt and pepper until translucent.
Add carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes over a medium to low fire, stirring gently.
Add potato pieces to onions.
Add 6 cups of stock and bring to a boil, covered.
Remove butternut squash from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Gently (the squash will still be very hot) scoop out the flesh of the squash, and set on cutting board.
Chop squash flesh into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
Add squash to boiling soup.
Simmer, uncovered, until squash and potatoes are fully cooked, and liquid has reduced some, 30 to 45 minutes.
Puree with a hand blender, or in the counter top blender (with care, the steam from the hot soup has a tendency to force the soup out of the blender).

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