Gingered Winter Squash and Root Veggie Soup

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Adapted from cookinglight.com

INGREDIENTS
2–3 cups winter squash, peeled and cubed (see Cook’s note)
1 cup potato (regular or sweet), scrubbed and cubed (peels optional for regular potatoes; sweet potatoes should be peeled)
1 cup parsnips, scrubbed and chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth (plus more for thinning, if needed)
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each of: black pepper, cumin, dry mustard
A pinch each of: nutmeg, cinnamon, red pepper flakes

PREPARATION

  • Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, spices, and red pepper flakes; sauté until onion is tender and translucent, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
  • Add squash, potato, parsnips, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until tender.
  • Add more broth as needed to thin out soup. For a thicker soup, uncover and let some liquid cook off.
  • For chunky soup, leave as-is. For smoother soup, use an immersion blender to puree to desired texture (or blend in batches in a blender or food processor and return to pan).
  • Stir in half-and-half or milk (if using) and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated (5 minutes or so), stirring occasionally.

Serves 4–6. Prep time, 15–20 minutes; cook time, 45 minutes.

Cook’s note: Peeling winter squash: Some types of winter squash peel more easily than others. It helps to have a good quality veggie peeler, but for more stubborn squash peel, try cutting the squash in half first to remove the seeds and pulp, then cut into wedges (like a melon), and peel each wedge carefully with a sharp paring knife.

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