~Roasted Butternut Squash Soup~
3 medium butternut squash 2 Tbs. olive oil 5 fresh thyme sprigs 5 fresh parsley sprigs 1 bay leaf 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock 1 lemon 1 cup half-and-half salt white pepper 1/2-cup toasted slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Coat squash halves with olive oil and arrange in a large roasting pan or sheet tray, cut sides up.
- Roast for one hour until squash can be easily penetrated with a knife.
- Make bouquet garnish by tying together thyme, parsley and bay leaf, the traditional components, or substitute different herbs to complement your soup. If fresh herbs are not available, use dried.
- While squash is roasting, bring chicken stock and bouquet garnish to a simmer, remove from the heat. Once it is cool, remove bouquet garnish and discard.
- Let roasted, softened squash cool, then scoop pulp into a blender. Add enough herb-infused chicken stock so the blender can puree the pulp.
- Strain puree into a pot, working it through with a ladle or plastic spatula. A simple strainer will do the trick here, but if you really want to have a silky smooth soup, you could use a finer meshed strainer.
- Add remaining stock and stir to combine.
- Juice lemon and add to soup. Taste soup before adding all the lemon juice. It may need more or less depending on the sweetness of the squash.
- Add half and half. Note: You could use milk instead for a low-fat version, or cream for a full-fat version.
- Salt and white pepper to taste.
- Serve in warm bowls or cups and garnish with a few toasted, slivered almonds.
- Enjoy! Slurp away to your hearts content!