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Farm Fresh: Creamy soup takes edge off hunger

Monday, November 20, 2000

Tested by Suzanne Martinson

It took me nearly a year to try this wonderful soup recipe from Kathy Heller of Oakmont. It is delicious.

It's a favorite she has contributed to the annual holiday potluck of the Food and Mystery Friends Book Group, which meets monthly at Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont. (The group next meets on Dec. 6 if you're interested.)

A cup of the creamy soup would be perfect to take the edge off hunger before the Thanksgiving feast (especially if you're grilling your turkey) -- or any cold winter night.

Don't skip the Parmesan and chives -- they add a bit of zest and color to the fun.

Cream of Butternut Squash & Leek Soup

5 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, well cleaned and chopped (only white and very light green sections)
4 pounds butternut squash (peeled, seeded, cubed)
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh chives or parsley (chopped)

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan. Add leeks and stir 4 to 5 minutes. Add squash (we used three medium) and stir to coat with butter. Mix in stock, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is very tender -- about 40 minutes. Puree in small batches in processor. Be careful. (To stave off spillage, we did this in batches in the blender.) Return to saucepan. Mix in cream and milk. Add pepper to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and chives.

Note: To make the squash easier to peel and start the cooking, we pricked the skin with a sharp knife, then microwaved for 15 minutes one high, one squash at a time.

Kathy Heller

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