Recipe of the Month: Baja Butternut Squash Soup


The Recipe of the Month is the silky-smooth Baja Butternut Squash Soup, flavored with chipotle, cloves and cumin. Ingredients  1-1/2 pounds (1 small to medium) butternut or other winter squash  1 teaspoon Canola Oil  2 Celery Stalks, Chopped  1 Onion, Small, Diced  1 Carrot, Chopped  1 teaspoon Cumin, Ground 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chile, Ground 1/8 teaspoon Cloves, Ground 6 cups Vegetable Broth  1 teaspoon Sea Salt  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper  1/2 cup Yogurt, Nonfat, Plain 2 tablespoons Fresh Chives or Chopped Parsley, snipped Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut squash in half, and remove seeds. Place the halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake until tender (45 minutes to 1 hour) when pierced with a knife. Scoop out squash flesh when the halves are cool enough to handle.  Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, onion and carrot, and stir to coat. Cover, reduce heat to medium/low and cook, stirring frequently until soft (8 to 10 minutes). Stir in the squash flesh, cumin, chipotle to taste and cloves. Add broth, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender (20 to 25 minutes).  Puree the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender (in batches) until smooth. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a drizzle of yogurt and sprinkle of chives or parsley. Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty-spice section of most supermarkets.  Makes 10 servings, approximately 3/4 cup each.