Start by roasting a butternut squash (stick it in the oven, 400 deg, 1 hr. Put foil or a cookie sheet underneath so when it gets tender and starts to ooze a little, it doesn't make too much of a mess, let it cool while you start the rest of the soup...
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, diced
Saute on medium heat in olive oil for 10 min, covered. Add some minced garlic, saute one minute.
- meat of choice ( 2 chicken breasts chopped; spicy sausage; seafood sausage from trader joe's freezer section, or whatever meaty items you would prefer).
- rice, diced potatoes, barley, or something similar
- 1 to 2 cartons of chicken or vegetable broth, (or fish stock) depending on how much meat and rice (which soaks up more liquid) and other stuff you put in. Just eyeball it, it doesn't need to be too soupy yet, you still have the butternut squash to add later.
Cook on med heat til everything is done, about 20 to 30 min, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, prepare the butternut cream:
- butternut squash, cooked
- 2 boxes cream cheese
- 1 carton soup broth
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Peel and cut half the squash into large chunks, add to a blender along with 1 box of cream cheese and half a carton of broth. make sure the lid is on good, the blender will be very full. (you can blend it in smaller batches but I'm always impatient) Blend till smooth, stirring to get all the chunks blended well. Add to your soup.
Repeat with the other half of squash, but instead of adding to the soup, stick it in the freezer for a future batch, unless you want to make A LOT of Soup!
If you're making a seafood variation, now is the time to add shrimp and scallops, simmer a few minutes till they're done.
Season to taste and enjoy! This is the perfect soup for a cold winter day...