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Before the Power Goes Out, Make Butternut Squash Soup

Use up the cream in the fridge and warm yourself up in the process.

With the change of the seasons comes the change of appetites, food and the availability of fresh vegetables and fruits. This delicious and healthy autumn soup is a great way to ring in the new season, even as we face the possibility of days without power.

It is pretty and pretty good tasting, too. A garnish is very important in a soup that is all one color – anything bright and complementary to the soup will look appetizing. A little crunch is nice, too.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 large whole butternut squash

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

2 apples, cored, peeled and sliced

drizzle of olive oil

4 cups homemade or low sodium all-natural chicken stock

2 T cream or half & half

garnish of your choice (see below)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse off the outside of the butternut squash and dry it with a paper towel. Very carefully and on a large wooden cutting board, cut off the ends of the squash, then cut it into large chunks, removing the seeds. Don't peel it.

Put the squash pieces, onions and apples on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft. Let cool. Using a small sharp knife, remove the skin from the squash.

Transfer the squash, onions and apple mixture to a large stockpot. Using a food processor or hand-held blender, process until smooth. Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock. Heat slowly. Keep adding chicken stock until you reach your desired soup consistency. You may not need all of the stock depending upon the size of the squash. When the soup is hot, stir in the cream.

Serve with a garnish of your choice: diced pimento, chopped nuts, croutons, chiffonade of spinach, fresh herbs – anything colorful that will highlight the flavor and color of the soup.

Serves six to eight.

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