Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium-large butternut squash (about 3-1/2 lbs or 7-8 C)
3 T olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
1 t ginger (or you may use 1 t cumin)
1 t salt
1 t pepper
6 C chicken broth (or 4 C broth, 2 C half-and-half)
thyme, cilantro, parsley to taste
toasted squash seeds
Pierce squash with knife 4 times. Bake in 400 degree oven for 1 hour. (You may also halve the squash, seeded it, and bake as above with cut side down in baking dish.) Once baked and cooled, scoop out seeds and pulp. The seeds should be rinsed, dried, lightly coated with cooking oil and baked in oven until browned butnot burned. Reserve to garnish the soup. The pulp may be cut into cubes.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot, melt butter or oil, and add onions. Cook until tender. Stir in 4 C chicken broth and add ginger, salt and pepper. Add squash. Simmer about 20 minutes. In batches, puree this mixture in a food processor or blender. Return puree to soup pot and add remaining 2 C of broth for a brothier soup OR 2 C half-and-half for a creamier soup. Warm through before serving. Garnish with seeds and your favorite herb.
NOTE: For a spicier version, try adding cayenne pepper, red chili pepper, or chopped jalapenos. For a heartier, meal-like soup, try adding 2 C diced potatoes, 1/2 C diced celery, and 1/2 C diced carrots.