Friday, September 24, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This soup has become a a cool weather staple in our house, making an appearance at Thanksgiving and Yule dinner as well as at regular meals. The flavors meld and mellow making it just as good if not better the next day around so make extra.
It's also great for potlucks since you can just as easily let all the ingredients cook on low in a slow cooker over the course of the day. It's also super easy to vegitarian/veganize if you're diet is a meatless one. I include both options, I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do.

1 large butternut squash
1 very large onion
2-3 large cloves garlic
fresh ginger root
Nutmeg berry
Chicken stock or (V) veggie stock
Optional: two roasted red peppers
Cream or cream substitute

Take the large butternut squash and cut it into quarters, scoop out the seeds and brush the skin and flesh with olive oil. Roast the squash (we use the grill, but the oven works too) until the skin is blistered and black and the flesh is almost cooked through. Let them sit until they're cool enough to handle then peel off the skin and any parts that are too charred. If you're adding the red peppers do the same with them. (Taking them off the grill and putting them into a seal-able plastic bag for a few minutes seems to help the skin separate from the flesh making it easier to remove.)
Meanwhile, heat a stew pot with a glug of olive oil and add one large chopped onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced, a tablespoon of fresh, finely grated ginger, a teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add the squash and two cans of chicken/veggi broth then let simmer at a bare bubble until everything is pretty much falling apart.

Here you have two options, you can use an hand blender for a semi-chunky soup... or my personal favorite is to process small batches in the blender for a wonderfully smooth puree. (If it seems too thick, I'll add another can of stock.)
Garnish with the cream or substitute (either soy milk to Tofutti sour supreme would have the right consistency for garnishing as shown in the pic) and cilantro, serve and enjoy!

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