Azteca Squash Soup

Category: Soup

Date: 08-29-2009

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Azteca Squash Soup

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1 ½ pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¾ cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic gloves, chopped
6 cups (or more) chicken broth, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cu canned black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile
Coarse sea salt, pepper
(recipe called for the following but I didn't use)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Sprinkle cut
halves of squash with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on prepared sheet.
Roast squash until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Turn squash cut side up and cool.
Scoop squash out into medium bowl.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add 1 ¾ cups chopped onion and sauté
until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Mix in 1 cup chopped celery and 2 chopped
garlic cloves. Add 1 cup broth. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add squash, 5 cups broth, and cumin. Cover and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Blend with immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Thin squash soup to
desired consistency with more broth. Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, Serrano
pepper and (optional cilantro, thyme). Cover soup and simmer 10 minutes. Season
to taste with coarse salt and pepper.  Can be made 1 day ahead.

*12/08 from Bon Appetit