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Squash Soup, Savory (M/D/P, KLP, TNT)
Source: The Economical Fresse
Serves: 12

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large butternut squashes, halved, seeds removed
3 strips of kosher turkey "bacon," or replace with kosher soy "bacon"
3 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup (the pure stuff, not the blend)
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dry)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wrap the halved butternut squash in foil, exposing the top. Rub each with half a clove of garlic, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast until soft enough to be pierced with a fork.

Once cool, scoop out squash and discard skins. Set aside. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil, and sauté the onion and garlic until soft and transparent.

Crumble the "turkey" bacon and combine well with the onion and garlic. Add squash, and stir well to loosen. Add maple syrup, and fold the mixture together well to combine. Add vegetable broth, combine, and bring to a light simmer.

Cover, and continue to simmer on low, for 45 minutes. Crumble in sage, and season to taste.

Using a hand-held immersion blender (a must have), thoroughly blend this soup until smooth, and then re-heat. Serve with a round of toasted bread floating in the middle of the bowl.

For a dairy version, substitute soy bacon (or none), and slightly increase the amount of salt; just use kosher salt, or sea salt, which gives flavor without the metallic edge. Dollop Fromage Blanc on top of each serving.

Poster's Notes:
I made a savory butternut squash soup last year for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit. It can be spiced up (with a roasted ancho chile that's been pulverized), made with meat (use 100% turkey bacon that's been crumbled), or dairy.

The key here is to oven roast the squashes before you make the soup: the result is nutty, sweet, and a very, very delicious counterpoint to the salt/spice edge that you then add to it.

Posted by Elissa Altman

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A