I love soups that are pureed/blended. They are always creamy but, frequently, without the cream. Here is a recipe for a nice Fall or Winter soup that is very easy to make, quite nutritious, and special enough to serve to guests. Also, like most soups, it can be made ahead, frozen, and reheated.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PARSNIP SOUP. Serves 8. Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
* 2 carrots, peeled and diced
* 3 parsnips, peeled and diced
* 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
* 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 6 cups chicken stock [For vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth.]
* 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar [I substituted Rice Wine Vinegar.]
* 1 bay leaf
In a large stockpot over medium heat, warm the oil, then add the squash, carrots, parsnips and onion. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they are slightly tender and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, coriander, chicken stock, salt, pepper, vinegar and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and puree the mixture. I use a stick blender but you could use a blender, being careful to puree small amounts so as to not get burned.