October 17, 2008

Jen's Butternut Squash Soup

I struggled with what to make for dinner tonight, and finally just gave up. Essentially, this is really just leftovers. I hosted my MOMS Club "Cooking Club" event at my house this morning, and demonstrated this recipe. I made a pretty big batch so that everyone got to sample it. Consequently, we now have this soup as leftovers. Normally I just hoard whatever is left, but since I don't feel like cooking...I will share with my family, begrudgingly.
This soup is one of my all time FAVORITE soup recipes. Probably, THE favorite. I always love making it when the Butternut Squash starts appearing at the grocery store, around October. Oh man, it is sooooo yummy! I literally just serve it with crusty french bread and call it a meal. The best part is that the work is already done for tonight...all I have to do is reheat and serve. I even remembered to take a photo earlier today (actually my friend Jen A. reminded me to take a photo)...so that is done, too!

Jen’s Butternut Squash Soup

4 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 whole butternut squash
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 whole onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons of butter or margarine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (for vegetarian version)
1 teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) package of low fat cream cheese

1)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut butternut squash in halves or quarters, cleaning and scraping seeds. Place squash on a large cookie sheet, once cleaned. Coat both sides with 2 Tablespoons of canola oil, by turning on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle cut sides with salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, and nutmeg. Roast cut side up, for 20 minutes, and then turn and roast cut side down for an additional 25 minutes. (Total roasting time = 45 minutes).
2)Let squash cool before handling. Once cooled, peel squash skin off with fingers and cut into 1 inch chunks. Set aside.
3)In a large saucepan or dutch oven, sauté onions in butter until tender. Add squash, stock, marjoram, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes.
4)Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil. ***ALTERNATE METHOD: Blend in soup pot/dutch oven with an immersion blender***

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