Butternut squash soup with apple cider and sage

December 3, 2008
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Serves 4

4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 butternut squash (1 3/4 to 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup apple cider
1 cup chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Fresh sage leaves (for garnish)
1. In a soup pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Pour in the apple cider. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces slightly.

3. Add the chicken stock or water with plenty of salt and pepper. Return to a boil, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Remove the pot from the heat.

4. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot. Stir in the maple syrup.

5. Ladle into bowls, add a spoonful of mascarpone to each, sprinkle with chives, and garnish with sage leaves. Adapted from Evan Percoco

(Wiqan Ang for the Boston Globe)
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