I love smooth puréed soups because you can make them rich-tasting even without adding rich ingredients, such as cream and butter. For the best flavour and texture, choose a squash that's heavy for its size. The hints of spices and herbs in this soup are mild enough for young palates and interesting enough for adults.
1 small butternut squash, about 2 lb (1 kg)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
5 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, or chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
With a heavy knife, cut squash in half lengthwise. Peel, remove seeds and chop flesh into roughly 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes. You should have about 5 cups (1.25 L).
Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion and garlic, and cook 3 minutes. Add squash, oregano, paprika and cinna-mon, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until squash is very tender.
Purée soup until smooth using an immersion blender, or by carefully ladling soup into a blender or food processor in batches - whir until smooth and return soup to pot. Add cilantro and warm through (with salt and pepper to taste).
In a serving: 74 calories, 3 g protein, 2 g fat, 13 g carbs, 2 g dietary fibre, 59 mg calcium, 22 mcg folate
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