Curried Butternut Squash Soup

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

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4 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

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4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces

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½ t red pepper flakes

4 bay leaves

2 t curry powder

2 t dried thyme

4 whole cloves

¼ C fresh lemon juice

8 C chicken stock

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In a preheated stock pot, add olive oil and butter. Once butter is melted, add onions and celery. Sauté until softened and slightly caramelized.

Toss carrots with a small amount of olive oil (just enough to moisten) and spread on a cookie sheet prepared with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven. Do the same preparation for the squash, but on a separate sheet. Place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are nicely browned.

Add carrots and squash to onion mix. Add red pepper, bay leaves, curry, thyme, cloves lemon juice and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer allowing flavors to meld. Remove from heat and allow soup to cool. Overnight is fine. Once cooled, place soup into a blender in small batches and puree until smooth. (Never do this with hot soup.) Reheat pureed soup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more stock or water … or cream if you’re feeling naughty. Serve with scallions and pumpernickel croutons.

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