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Bite Of Minnesota: Delicata Squash Bisque

Do you sometimes dread the thought of making dinner? I've been there, actually, I've been there a lot lately. Sometimes life feels too chaotic and I just want dinner to magically appear without having to dig for a recipe (mentally or physically), create a bunch of dishes, or wait impatiently for a dish to finish baking.

Instead of giving up all together, I've turned to making soups that are full of healthy ingredients and low in fat. Right now, squash is very much in season and readily available. My favorite squash of the moment is delicata. It's small enough as to not overwhelm and easy to cut and prepare several ways. Most recently, I used it in a soup, which was easy to make alongside another meal because it required little maintenance.

Delicata Squash Bisque
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum, October 2008
(serves 4)

2 medium-sized delicate squash, about 3 lbs.
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp thyme (fresh if possible) + additional for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt, to taste
½ cup half and half

Preheat oven to 400º F. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with foil and place squash cut side down. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.

Remove squash from the oven and scrape insides into a large soup pot. Discard the squash skin. Add veggie broth, thyme, salt, and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to help break up the squash.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a standing blender), blend soup until very smooth. This might take several minutes. Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in half and half. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and divide between warmed soup bowls or mugs. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.

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