Published by PETA.

The transition from summer to fall in the South does not go unnoticed. It’s the first time in months that you can go without AC and not break into a sweat immediately. It’s the first time in months that you can even think about wearing a sweater. It’s the first time in months that the words “I’m kind of chilly” have crossed your lips. After months of intense heat and humidity, these little moments stand out, and they all happened to me this weekend.

Here in Atlanta, we saw the first signs of fall, and they were beautiful! Of course, I took this as an opportunity to embrace foods I think of as “fall foods,” such as soups, stews, and chilies. The first on my list was butternut squash soup.

The recipe below includes a step for creating your own vegetable broth—which I’ll admit I never do because of cooking laziness—which was definitely worth it. The broth was fresher and not salty like prepackaged versions.

The spices in this recipe are very minimal—just salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste—so feel free to play around with it and add others. I can imagine a hint of sage might go well or even a hint of cinnamon. I’m not so sure about, say, cayenne or chipotle, but you never know!

Butternut Squash Soup

1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 cup white wine
5 cups water
2 large onions, diced, with 1/4 cup reserved
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of nutmeg, to taste
Chopped parsley (optional)

  • Place the carrot, celery, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, white wine, water, and all but 1/4 cup of the onions in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Strain the soup, discard the pulp, and return the liquid to the pot.
  • Add the squash and remaining onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender.
  • Transfer the squash, onion, and one cup of the liquid (reserving the remaining liquid in a separate container) to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Pour the purée back into the pot and add some of the reserved liquid, stirring to achieve the desired consistency. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

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