my  daughter was inspired by Giada de LAurentis:

 Butternut Squash Soup  

Having over-eaten lots of great food this holiday weekend, I was inspired to buy the latest issue of SHAPE magazine during my usual grocery run. Giada De Laurentis is on the cover so I could not resist. The woman was born on my birthday, our kids were born during the same month last year, and she enjoys easy, healthy cooking as much as I do.

In her December issue, she featured "Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Crostini". Perfect for the chilly weather and my constant quest simple and nutritious cooking.

Here's what you need:
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic minced
31/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut(about 7 cups)
6 cups of low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup of sage.

For the crostini
1/2 wheat baguette sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup of granted fontina
Kosher salt

Heat oil in an 8 quart stockpot over medium high. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes or until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add squash and stock or broth and bring to a boil. Add sage and continue boiling for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat. Use blender to mix till a smooth consistency.

Then, there's the crostini. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet. Drizzle oil and sprinkle with sage. Top with fontina and season with salt. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.

To make it healthier, I chose to garnish this soup with fresh green herbs from our garden. But the crostini sure looks fabulous also!

And as we say in Romanian: pofta buna!


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