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Butternut Squash Soup

Cinnamon and nutmeg give a flavor boost to this butternut squash soup, which is easy to prepare in a slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 butternut squash, about 4 lb. total, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Sauté the vegetables
In a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Cook the soup
Put the squash chunks in a slow cooker and sprinkle with the brown sugar, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. white pepper. Pour the contents of the fry pan over the squash and add the broth. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finish the soup
Using a blender or food processor and working in batches, process the squash mixture to a smooth puree. Return the soup to the slow cooker to keep warm until ready to serve. Adjust the seasonings with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives, and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Slow Cooker, by Norman Kolpas (Oxmoor House, 2007).