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Butternut squash soup

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Chef Peter Webster – Bouquet Garni

 

Autumn is soup weather!  It is one of the ultimate comfort foods.  Sitting down to a bowl of hot, homemade soup brings back memories of childhood.  My mom used to make soup out of everything.  With five hungry kids, soup was a staple and no food was wasted.

 

Homemade soup has it all over the canned variety.  Taste, nutrition and low sodium are a few of the benefits.  One of my favourites is butternut squash soup.  Butternut squash has an hourglass shape, is a beige colour on the outside, has bright orange coloured flesh inside and the taste is sweet and earthy.  Normally, I cut the squash lengthwise, take out the seeds, lightly brush the skin with oil and bake the squash, cut side down in a 400º oven for about 45 minutes.  The roasting gives a more robust taste to the squash.

For a microwave alternative, pierce the squash with a fork all over, lightly oil it, and bake on high in the microwave at 5-minute intervals until the squash is soft.  Let the squash cool, then peel.

 

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (about 2 to 3 lbs) (prepared as mentioned above)

2 tbsp butter

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 stalk of celery

4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, or water

2 cups of milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Melt the butter in a large pot.  Sautée the onion and carrot for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and celery and stir for another 2 minutes.  Add in the squash, stock, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.  Puree using a blender.

 

Put the puree back into the pot and add the milk.  Bring soup to a simmer and taste to adjust the seasoning.  Enjoy this flavourful bowl of soup.

(Serves about 6 persons).

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