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Author Notes: Though she is a nurse professionally, my Aunt Sharyn is a very talented home cook. Thanksgiving is when she typically breaks out her famous butternut squash soup, though she's whipped it out for many a Rosh Hashanah dinner in the past as well. It's always a crowd favorite! I've adapted it for vegan/vegetarian diet concerns, but listed ingredients needed when serving people who still eat butter and bacon. Happy Autumn! —Rebecca Firkser
- 4 1/2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise (seeds and pulp discarded)
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
- 4 large leeks, white and tender green parts coarsely chopped
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- lots of black pepper
- lots of kosher salt
- chopped chives, for serving
- finishing olive oil, drizzled
- crisp bacon, crumbled; for serving (obviously omit if following vegan/vegetarian recipe)
- sour cream, dolloped; for serving (omit for vegan recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash cut-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh from the skin.
- In a large, heavy bottomed stockpot, melt the coconut oil (or butter) over over low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft and browned, 35-40 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.
- Stir in the stock and squash. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a standing blender. Season well with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with chives, olive oil, and optional sour cream and bacon.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for When You Want It to Feel Like Fall