Butternut Squash Soup


Butternut squash is a gourd in the Cucurbita genus, which includes the common pumpkin. Although its generally thought of as a vegetable, it's actually a fruit. In contrast to the green or yellow thin-skinned varieties of summer squash, winter squash like butternut boast a thick skin and a deep orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor.

This simple soup is nourishing and satisfying and ready in no time at all. It's perfect for lunch or a light supper, served with a side salad and a slice of fresh bread.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large carrot, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

5 cups butternut squash, cubed

6 cups organic vegetable broth

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

3 fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes, or until soft. Turn the heat up to medium and add the carrot and celery. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the squash, vegetable broth, salt, thyme, sage and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

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