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Cider Baked Butternut Squash Soup
      #1003104 - 05/05/09 09:31 AM (

Cider Baked Butternut Squash Soup

2 1-lb. butternut squash
3/4 cup apple cider
2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (2 cups)
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. snipped fresh sage
1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
Shredded Gruyère cheese (optional)
Purchased herb croutons (optional)

1. Peel squash and halve lengthwise; remove seeds. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Grease foil. Place squash in pan, cut side up. Pour apple cider atop squash; turn cut side down. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour. Cool until squash is easy to handle; scrape pulp from skin. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven cook onions in hot oil until golden brown. Add carrots, apples, and celery. Add chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add baked squash and cook for 1 hour more. Add water, cream, and salt. Cool slightly. Puree in batches in a food processor.
3. Stir in sage, rosemary, and nutmeg. Thin with additional whipping cream or water, if desired. Garnish with cheese and croutons, if desired. Makes 12 side-dish servings.

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