Butternut Squash Soup
Ha, this is so easy it hardly counts as a recipe, but here it is:
The most difficult step is getting this hard, winter squash open. I never chance injuring myself by using a knife. I take the squash outside and slam it on the driveway. No, it doesn't open perfectly, but there's no chance of the knife slipping off the thing and slicing fingers. Scoop out the seeds and compost those. Then, I bake the pieces with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic (smaller pieces cook faster) until they're soft.
Remove from oven, (oh--you can use the microwave if you'd prefer) and let cool enough to handle. Scoop out and put in your blender or Cuisinart. I have a Vitamix, but this is so soft even an inexpensive blender will work. The key to amazing soup is getting it smooth, so blend until you've reached a really nice, smooth puree.Add liquid to consistency you desire for soup. Some people like chicken stock, others use milk, and I sometimes just use water. I add a dash of Tabasco or chili pepper, more garlic and salt to taste. Serve with finely chopped cilantro in each bowl.