2 medium butternut squash, peeled, cut into halves, seeded and cubed (about 4 cups)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh gingerroot
4 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or packaged reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons maple syrup (plus more if needed)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or parsley (optional)
1. Combine squash, onion and gingerroot in a steamer basket placed over boiling water. Cover and steam until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Working in batches, place the squash mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add a small amount of stock. Process until smooth. Transfer puréed squash to a soup pot. Stir in maple syrup and seasonings. Taste and add additional syrup to achieve desired degree of sweetness. The soup can be made up to this point and covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
3. Reheat soup before serving. Serve with a swirl of heavy cream and sprinkling of chives, if using.
Nutritional facts per serving: 110 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 740mg sodium
Reprinted with permission from “An American Family Cooks.” Text copyright 2013 Judith Choate.