By Natasha Price of Alaska Knit Nat

After having major surgery last week and being put on a restrictive, full-liquid diet, it was a matter of hours before I got tired of ice cream, pudding and Jell-o. I was more than thrilled when Julia offered to bring me some homemade butternut squash soup.

I’m not a huge fan of squash soup, but I hadn’t eaten real food in five days. I welcomed anything flavorful, savory and nutritious. Not only was her soup delicious, but Julia assured me it was the easiest thing ever to make.

She, being the Costco enthusiast that she is, purchases pre-cut chunks of butternut squash and roasts them with garlic, then tosses it all in the blender with some chicken stock.

I decided to do the same. Tonight I winged it — no recipe, no Pinterest pin; just me, a squash and a blender. Julia is right. This is the tastiest, easiest soup ever.

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Easy butternut squash soup

Serves about 6

It’s up to you how to want to roast your squash. I have a hard time cutting raw squash so I put the whole thing in the oven and baked it for an hour. It was easy to cut in half but it still wasn’t cooked enough, so I scooped out the seeds and placed it back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash (or 1 container of pre-cut squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 oz. Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375º.

Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast the squash whole for one hour. Cut in half and discard the seeds. Place whole, peeled garlic on the sheet and bake another 15 or 20 minutes, or until garlic is lightly browned and squash is cooked through.

In the meantime, heat the oil over medium-high flame and sauté the onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the butter. Roughly tear up the sage leaves in place in the pan. Sauté for a couple of minutes and turn off flame. Set aside.

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Scoop out the squash and place the pulp in the blender. Add the garlic, onions, sage and remaining oil in the pan. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and blend for a few minutes.

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Add the soup to a pot with remaining stock and bring to a simmer. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, clean your blender with an awesome life hack. Fill the blender with a couple of cups of hot water and a few drops of dish soap.

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Blend your blender for a few seconds. Rinse in the sink. You’re welcome.

Just before serving, stir in the Neufchatel until melted. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.