Peter's Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, light sesame oil, or olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped, reserving dark-green tops for stock
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small handful celery leaves
- 3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 two-inch cinnamon stock
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 4 cups Peter's Winter Squash, Fennel, and Leek Broth Peter's Winter Squash, Fennel, and Leek Broth
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
- Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
In a heavy 3-to 4-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. With a wooden spoon, turn the leeks over in the oil a few times. Reduce the heat to low, add the ginger and garlic, cover, and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Make a bouquet garni by tying together with kitchen twine or wrapping in cheesecloth the celery leaves, sage, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
Add the bouquet garni to the pot. Then add the squash, apple cider, and the stock. Raise the heat, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to as low as possible, and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash crushes easily against the side of the pot when pressed with a wooden spoon.
Remove the bouquet garni, and pass the soup through a food mill or puree using an immersion blender. Season with pepper. Swirl in butter if using.
Serve the soup garnished with a pinch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of parsley.