Squash soupIngredients:

2 tbsp. butter

1 red onion, small dice

1 bunch leeks (white only), washed, small dice

2 medium carrots, peeled, small dice

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, small dice

1 acorn squash, peeled, deseeded, small dice

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. clove

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ cup cream

¼ cup maple syrup

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1) In an 8-quart heavy stainless steel pot, melt butter and cook sweet onion and leeks until tender (about 3 minutes over medium heat until colorless)

2) Add next 3 ingredients and gently heat until ingredients are tender translucent

3) Add the next 3 spices and cook for 2-3 minutes

4) Add just enough water to reach the top of the vegetables (not too much)

5) Simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender

6) Blend thoroughly in processor/blender until velvety

7) Pour back into cleaned out pot and add cream, maple syrup, salt and black pepper to taste and heat to desired soup temperature. This soup gets better after a few days and is great served piping hot

8) Serve with a dollop of heavy cream with a pinch of cinnamon and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Source: Chef Mark Molinaro, Certified Executive Chef and Chef Lecturer at Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management in the W. A. Franke College of Business.

Also see his thoughts on gas vs. electric cooktops and his five helpful cooking tips.

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