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Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

October 7, 2009

(from the recipe): roasting creates a rich, carmelized flavor, but you can cook the squash cubes directly in the broth if you’re short on time. they should pierce easily with a fork when they are done.

(from me): that’s crap. take the time to roast them. it’s so worth it.

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, copped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
3 cans (14 1/2 oz each) reduced sodium chicken broth

croutons:
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced fresh sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed french bread (1/2 inch cubes)

cooking spray
additional grated parmesan cheese, optional

1. place squash in 15 x 10 x 1 in. (i used a 9 x13 and it worked fine) baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil, sprinkle with pepper. toss to coat. bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 15 minutes. set aside.

2. in a dutch oven (I thank God for my dutch oven at least every second day), saute the onion, celery and sage in remaining oil until tender. stir in broth and reserved squash. bring to a boil. reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. cool slightly.

3. in a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth (i have an immersion blender which i inherited in marriage – what? kevin had an immersion blender? i know! anyway, i used it for the first time, and it was SO fun and easy!). return to the pan; heat through.

4. for croutons, in a small bowl, combine the cheese, oil, sage and garlic. add bread cubes and spritz with cooking spray; toss to coat. place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. bake at 425 degrees for 5 – 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. serve with soup and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

nutritional facts: 1 cup soup with 1/4 cup croutons equals 179 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 541 mg sodium, 5 g protein.

this was so yummy, and also quite low in calories and fat. sage was the perfect flavor to go with the squash. it’s a wonderful cool fall day dinner. and i was pretty amazed at myself for making my own croutons. who does that?

(picture not mine)

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