Butternut Squash Soup — Deliciously Simple

Just four ingredients make this one of my favorite soups and an autumn through winter regular at my supper table. It is so easy and tasty!  The only not-so-easy thing to do, is cut up the very hard butternut; a large heavy knife helps. This soup is a great make-ahead recipe to take to parties, or to freeze and enjoy months later. The recipe is very flexible: use a smaller or larger squash, and more or less butter to suit your taste. Use broth and water as I do, or all broth. Let your taste buds be your guide. You cannot ruin this soup; just enjoy its flavor and simplicity.

Kitchen Note: An electric immersion blender (also known as a hand blender or stick mixer) makes it a breeze to puree the cooked butternut right in the pot. If you do not have one of these handy appliances, let the soup cool a bit, then puree in a blender in batches.

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Deliciously Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 7-8 cups       Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: approx 40 minutes 

1 small leek
3 tablespoons butter
1 butternut squash, 2-1/2 to 3 lbs
1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken or vegetable broth

Cut dark green top off leek; cut off roots. Cut leek in half lengthwise and rinse well to remove the dirt that is near the top end. See photo below. Slice leek or coarsely chop. Melt butter in a 6-quart pot. Add leeks and sauté over medium heat until leeks start to brown. Remove pot from heat.

Meanwhile, use a large, heavy sharp knife to cut the stem off the squash. Cut off the long top part of the squash, and cut that long piece in half crosswise. See photos below. Cut the round bottom in half crosswise. Use a spoon to remove seeds and strings.

With the same knife (or a sharp heavy-duty vegetable peeler) remove the skin. Cut squash into cubes. Smaller cubes cook faster.

Place squash in pot with leeks; add broth. Add water just to the top of the squash. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil 15-20 minutes or until squash is very tender. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Season soup to taste with salt. If desired, swirl a dollop of sour cream into individual servings. 






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