Silky smooth – a pure taste of fall! The ginger and jalapeno add just a hint of a bite. An elegant soup. Try adding 1–2 cloves of minced garlic for a change.
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
2 medium leeks (white portion only), sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup butter
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 6 cups)
2 cans (141/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
In a large saucepan, sauté carrots, celery, leeks and jalapeno in butter for 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth and ginger; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. In a blender or food processor, puree squash mixture in small batches until smooth; return to pan. Add cream, salt and pepper; mix well. Heat through but do not boil. Garnish with pecans.
Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).