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Orange Soup Warms Heart

Butternut Squash is Comfort Food
By Pia Hinckle

When the weather turns damp and chilly, a heart-warming butternut squash soup is one of my favorites. This is one of those soups that will turn people who don’t have much experience with squash into true believers.

It is a perfect dipping soup for sandwiches or toast, my favorite bread food.  My kids love this soup with toasted sourdough bread with olive oil drizzled on it. I find it is the perfect simple weeknight dinner, with a side of brussel sprouts or a simple salad.  It also freezes well and can be made ahead of time and enjoyed later.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
Adapted from Comforting Foods cookbook

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion (chopped fine)
4 fresh sage leaves, de-stemmed and finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 large Butternut Squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6-8 cups water (or chicken or vegetable stock)
Salt and pepper to taste
Crème fraiche (optional)

PREPARATION

  • Rinse the butternut squash under cold water. Cut off the top and bottom. Cut the squash in half and set each piece flat side down. Cut off, or peel, the hard shell, de-seed, and cut the flesh into 1-inch size chunks. Set aside.
  • Peel and chop the onion finely.
  • Rinse the sage leaves. Remove the center stems, stack the leaves and chop finely.
  • On a medium flame, melt the butter and olive oil in a soup pot. Add the chopped onion. Stir until the onion turns golden. Add chopped sage and honey. Cook until the honey bubbles.
  • Add the squash and 6-8 cups of water (or stock). Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes, until the squash is tender. (Add more liquid if necessary to keep the squash submerged).
  • Use a hand blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraiche.
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