Roasting the vegetables makes difficult-to-peel squash easier to work with. As well, along with fresh garlic, roasting sweetens and intensifies the flavour of root vegetables.

This is an easy-to-prepare soup which pairs nicely with a hearty bread and old cheddar or gruyere cheese. Very high in Vitamin A, dark orange vegetables are some of the super-star anti-oxidant foods which offer the body many protective health effects.


Squash, Parsnip and Carrot Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 acorn or hubbard squash (about two pounds), unpeeled and halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into eight pieces

4 parsnips, peeled, cut into two-inch pieces

4 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole

¼ cup water

1 medium onion, diced

1½ teaspoons thyme

4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

1 cup milk

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

• Pre-heat oven to 375F.

• Spread one tablespoon of the oil in a roasting pan.

• Arrange squash pieces, skin side up, in prepared roasting pan.

• Add parsnips, carrots, garlic and ¼ cup water.

• Cover pan tightly with foil.

• Bake until vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.

• Cool vegetables slightly.

• Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat remaining one tablespoon oil.

• Sauté onion and thyme until onions are golden (about five minutes) then remove from heat.

• Scrape peels off of the cooked squash.

• Put squash into food processor adding parsnips, carrots, garlic and onions/thyme.

• Pour half of chicken stock (or water/vegetable stock) into the food processor.

• Purée until smooth.

• Transfer squash-parsnip-onion purée into large saucepan.

• Add remaining stock whisking to re-heat gently.

• Whisk in milk and carefully heat; do not allow to boil.

• Season with salt and pepper.

• Garnish with parsley.