Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash is a fruit (vegetable, whatever) that must be praised.  Full of antioxidents, vitamins and fiber, it's no wonder where "she" gets her cute hourglass figure!  There is not one bad thing to say about the squash, except, perhaps it may be a little tough to cut through.  No matter, SO worth it.  There are tons of uses for butternut squash, but the most simplest to make is this pureed soup.  Smooth, delicious, sweet and creamy but without the addition of cream.  Oh my goodness, serve this up all autumn long.  This soup goes great with roast porks and meats, seared scallops or shrimps, whatever you can dream of, serve it up!  This butternut squash recipe costs less than $5 for 6 large servings, and contains only 4 ingredients.  Yup, wow.

Ingredients (6 hearty meal-sized bowls)
4 pounds butternut squash
1 large yellow onion, diced to 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
32 ounces low-sodium beef broth (homemade or boxed)
½ cup water
kosher salt, as needed
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
whole sour cream, to serve (optional)
Italian-flat leafed parsley, finely chopped, to serve (optional)

1.  Peel and cut the butternut squash.  Be careful not to cut yourself as it's really hard to cut through!  To peel skin off, use a large chef's knife to cut the butternut squash in half, horizontally (so it's not so tall).  Then slice into each half vertically.  Scoop out and discard seeds (so it looks like a little banjo).  Slice quartered butternut squash into 2-inch slices.  Working with each slice on the cutting board, use your chef's knife to "peel" the skin by cutting off a thin layer of the outer skin so the flesh shows through.  Work your way around until all the the skin has been removed.  Repeat with all rounds.  After all skin has been removed, cut squash into roughly 2-inch pieces - no need to be exact as the squash will be pureed later.

2.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot.  Add onion and cook for 2 minutes or until soft.  Add butternut squash and cook for another minute.

3.  Add beef broth and water, until squash is just about covered in liquids (does not need to cover all).  Allow mixture to come to a boil, turn heat down to a low simmer and cover pot with lid.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

4.  Turn off heat.  Use a handheld immersion blender (I use a KitchenAid Immersion Blender) to puree the soup.  If you don't have an immersion blender, do it the old school way and place a little bit of soup at a time into your blender.  Make sure it's only  full because it's hot and expands and you don't want your blender to overflow.  Important: when blending, lightly cap your blender, but not airtight, holding the exposed section with a towel so nothing flies out.  Once pureed, place into another stockpot so that the puree and butternut squash chunks doesn't get mixed up.

5.  Reheat puree, allowing it to come to a full boil.  Taste, salt as needed.  Turn off heat and add butter, stir to melt into puree. 

6.  Ladle butternut squash soup into large bowls, sprinkle with a little bit of parsley to serve.  Dallop a spoonful of cool tangy sour cream on top, if desired.