BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

From SIGNS & SEASONS, our Astrology Cookbook:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with roasted pumpkin seeds

Will serve 6-8.

for the soup:

1 butternut squash, (2 or 3 pounds), peeled and seeded, cut into small chunks

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

for the pumpkin seeds:

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon olive oil

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon onion or celery salt

1 cup pumpkin seeds

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Saute until thoroughly softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the squash and saute to wilt the pieces, about 5 minutes. Add the stock. Season with ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook until all ingredients are fully tender, about 20 minutes. Use whatever equipment you have to make a smooth puree. It helps to have an immersion blender. If you don’t, puree the soup in small batches in a blender or food processor.

While the soup cooks, preheat an oven to 325 F. Mix the honey, oil, seasoned salt, and cayenne in a bowl.

Spread the pumpkin seeds on a ridged oven sheet and roast, shaking frequently, until they are lightly browned and aromatic, about 12 minutes.

While they are hot from the oven, toss them with the honey mixture. Distribute evenly. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with a generous scattering of the seeds.

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