3 pounds (1 1/2 kg) whole butternut squash halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 carrots peeled and diced
1/4 cup olive oil (for roasting option)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper to taste
1 large onion cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic minced or grated
3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock (or broth) — use veggie broth or stock for a vegetarian option.
2 beef or chicken bouillon cubes crumbled — use vegetable stock powder for vegetarian option.
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a large baking pan.
Place squash on the pan, cut-side up (skin-side down). Arrange onion, garlic and carrots around the pan.
Drizzle ingredients with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub seasonings all over each veggie and inside the squash.
Flip squash cut-side down and rub any of the oil/seasonings left on the pan over the skin.
Roast until squash is fork tender and completely cooked through (about 50-55 minutes).
Allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). When cool enough to touch, scoop the flesh out of the skin.
Place roasted veggies, 3 cups of stock and bouillon cubes into a blender. (You may need to work in batches of two or three depending on the size of your blender.) Blend until smooth. Be careful with the steam that may lift out from the centre of the lid.
Transfer soup into a pot and warm over medium heat to serve. (Check thickness and add remaining stock, if needed, to thin It out.)
FOR STICK/IMMERSION BLENDER:
Place roasted veggies, 3 cups of stock and bouillon into a large pot over medium heat. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Warm up over medium heat, if needed.
Stir in the half and half or cream. Add in any preferred spices (pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg). Adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
FOR FAST BOIL:
Place all ingredients, except cream and oil, in a large pot or saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender.
Take off heat. Blend until smooth.
Add the cream and stir through.
Add any salt, pepper or spices if desired.