- 3 Tbs. butter or olive oil (or any combination)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 lbs. butternut squash, * peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch pieces (or buy frozen, cubed)
- 4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ cup half-and-half, low fat-condensed milk, or cream
- ½ cup roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
Melt butter (and/or oil) in heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add squash and sauté 5 more minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and bring to a boil. Lower flame to simmer, cover, cook until squash is tender (about 20 minutes). Cool slightly. Remove thyme. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth.
Return to same pan. Stir in optional cream or milk. Bring soup to simmer – do not boil. Season to taste with salt, pepper (white or black) and additional nutmeg, if needed. Sprinkle roasted pepitas on top of poured soup as garnish when you serve. Soup can be prepared one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.
Before serving, re-warm over medium heat, thinning with more broth if necessary. Serve soup in a bowl, or smaller “shot cups” as an appetizer – no spoons needed.
Bake squash in a 350-degree oven. Cut in half, discard seeds, place in 13 x 9-inch pan, cut side down. Add water to depth of 1 inch. Cover with foil, bake until soft – when you can pierce squash easily with small knife – 30 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool. Scrape squash flesh and mix flesh with sautéed onion, broth. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, continue with puree step.
Place cut squash pieces in a microwave safe bowl, cover, microwave until paring knife glides easily through flesh, 14 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through. Carefully transfer squash to colander set in bowl (squash will be very hot). Drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid for soup. Mix flesh and reserved liquid with sautéed onion, broth. Cook for 10 minutes, and then continue with the puree step.
Yields approximately six cups