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Butternut Squash Soup
by Charlie Burke

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version of recipe

Fall in New England means hot soups now will replace the cold ones we prefer
in the summer, and
Butternut Squash Soup is our favorite; velvety smooth, it’s
even the color of fall. With a food processor or a food mill it is easy to make, and
it can be made a day or two ahead, a convenience when entertaining.

We usually use four cups of mild chicken stock and one cup of water, but often
use water, alone, which highlights the fresh squash flavor. (Most vegetable
stocks are too assertive to be compatible with this recipe) Caramelizing the
onions adds their sweetness to that of the squash, and toasting the walnuts
briefly in a dry pan enhances their flavor and provides crunchy texture.

Four servings:

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat and add onions and
shallots. Cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until onions are golden
brown. Add squash , 5 cups of liquid and salt and pepper, raise heat to high and
bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until squash is tender. While
the squash is cooking, place a dry fry pan over medium heat and toast walnuts,
tossing or stirring until they begin to color.

Puree the squash in a food processor or pass it through a food mill and return it
to the pot with all the liquid. Add the thyme and simmer for a few minutes.
Serve the soup topped with the toasted walnuts and a few fresh thyme leaves.

We think butternut squash is ideal for this soup, but it can be made with any fall
squash. Many farmers are growing new or reintroducing older squashes, so take
advantage or the opportunity to learn from the growers at your local farmers’
market or farm stand and try different varieties in this and other recipes.

About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice
president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association and helps run the
Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne, he grows certified organic
herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH.  
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