Fall screams, loudly: “Give me soup!” and I listen.  I oblige, and buy a large butternut squash.  Before I even take it to the kitchen I am already dreaming of a silky, burned orange bowl of soup, laced with cumin, coriander and chili powder.  Surely, you could skip the roasting step and cook the squash directly in the liquid of your choice (water, chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth).  But I love what roasting does to the squash – the natural sugars of the squash come out to play and caramelize the edges.  At the same time, the spices that coat the squash with the help of olive oil get toasted and become ever so more fragrant.

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, cut into 8 pieces, seeds removed
1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
extra virgin olive oil
ground cumin
ground coriander
chili powder
liquid of choice (see the note above)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Place squash, onion, and garlic in a heavy bottom sheet.  Coat evenly with oil and liberally sprinkle with cumin, coriander, and chili.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender.  If necessary, remove garlic earlier, to prevent burning.

3.  Cool squash enough to handle.  Scoop out the flesh of the squash into a soup pot and add onion and garlic.

4.  Add enough liquid to cover the top of the squash.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.

5.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.  I really do love the perfectly, silky smooth texture.  If you prefer, you can have your soup on a rustic/chunkier side by pureeing it less.

Want to make the soup a bit fancy?  Serve with a toasted slice of pumpernickel bread and a spoon of pesto.  You can grate some sharp Parmesan cheese or serve with a cheddar crostini.  Enjoy!

Helpful suggestions: since your oven is already “on”, do some double or triple duty roasting.  375 is a perfect roasting temperatures for potatoes, eggplant and chicken.  Your home will smell delicious and your stomach will be happy.

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