Baja Butternut Squash Soup

From Eating Well, February 2009
Makes 10 servings

1 1/2 pounds (1 small to medium) butternut or other winter squash
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, or chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut squash in half and seed. Place the halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Scoop out flesh when cool enough to handle.

Heat 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 and simmer, covered, 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).

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