Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash has a pleasant nutty flavor and mildly sweet taste.  Each cup supplies almost 300 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 50 percent of vitamin C, 7 percent of calcium, and 5 percent of iron.  The vitamin A helps maintain eye health, and healthy mucous membranes and skin.  The potassium in butternut squash helps maintain healthy blood pressure and the fiber improves digestion and reduces constipation.

This recipe is a bit more time consuming than my usual ones, but it’s worth it!  To make preparation easier and faster, bake the butternut squash before peeling or cubing.  To do this, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash the outside of the squash thoroughly and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut 4 or 5 slits into the squash (through the skin).   Place squash on baking pan and bake about 60 minutes.  When done, remove from oven and carefully cut in half (the skin should be soft now).  Let cool a few minutes.  Scoop out the seeds,  and then the flesh, with a spoon.  Cut the flesh  into bite-sized cubes to use in recipes like the one below.   To save time, bake and cube the squash in the morning and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients:

2 butternut squash (the more orange the color the sweeter)
4 TBS butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
1 apple, peeled, and chopped into small pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper
2-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup milk

Directions:

Prepare squash.  In large pot, heat 2 TBS of the butter.  Add onion, garlic, apple and 1-2 cups of the broth.  Gently boil until onion and apple are tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the rest of the broth and the cooked squash.   

Puree using an immersion blender (I just bought one and I love it!) or transfer to a blender or food processor.  Return to heat and add the remaining 2 TBS of butter, the milk, and the seasoning.  Heat thoroughly and serve.  SO delicious!