With all the snow, ice and cold, it seems that winter will never end. Fortunately, this delicious soup will help you get through these last few weeks! Butternut squash are considered a winter power food because they are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Best of all, grocery stores are still packed with them, so finding in-season ingredients should be pretty easy.
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 large shallots, peeled and halved
* 1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced * 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth * Cracked black pepper * handful of walnuts, toasted
* 2 tablespoons (1-inch) slices fresh chives * Creme Fraiche (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and continue to roast an additional 10 minutes, cool for 10 minutes.
4. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth.
4. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add additional salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste.
5. Top with chives, walnuts, and dollop of creme fraiche and pepper, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup soup and 1 teaspoon chives)