Winter Squash Soup

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Makes 6–8 servings

Autumn is the time to celebrate the harvest. An abundance of produce flows into the farmers' markets, bright red peppers, crisp golden apples, fresh yellow corn, and brightly-colored winter squash. The pumpkin has become a symbol of fall, but it’s only one of many delicious varieties of winter squash. Acorn, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, and interesting heirloom varieties are also available.

Below is a recipe using butternut squash. This recipe is requested more than any other at The Cottage Place.

1-1/2 pounds butternut squash
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted (divided)
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
2/3 cup flour
6 cups Quick Chicken Stock (see separate recipe)
1/2 cup cream (or milk)
3 cups apple juice
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced fine
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Split squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Brush inside of squash with a little of the melted butter and bake for 1 hour, or until tender.
3. While squash is baking, sauté onion in remaining melted butter until translucent. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
4. Combine chicken stock, cream, apple juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry and chipotle in a stockpot and bring to a boil.
5. Add onion and flour mixture to boiling stock, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir until smooth and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Remove squash from the oven and cool to room temperature.
7. Peel roasted squash. Combine squash and 2 cups of the soup in a blender. Purée until smooth, using the pulse button.
8. Stir purée into remaining soup.
9. Add apples and simmer 5 minutes.
10. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Note: Substitute any other winter squash and experience a totally different flavor.