Butternut Squash Soup WOW!

For years I have loved the butternut squash soup made by Campbell's but it was too little soup for a family of four and too much money, even on sale. I have an aversion to spending more than a dollar for prepared soup when I know how easy soup is to make. Yet, in all this time, I have never tried to make it myself. Perhaps I feared disappointment knowing it wouldn't be the same, or maybe I knew, as I have since discovered it is a little more time consuming than I prefer. But having succeeded, it is worth the time.

So what takes so much time? Prep work. I prefer doing one thing while something else is brewing, baking, or rising in the background. This soup requires advance planning or other projects to occupy your time while the squash bakes. If you think you can bake the squash while making the soup base you're wrong. Either the potatoes in the base will turn to starch waiting for the squash to cool or you'll burn your hands scraping the squash from the skin. I suffered the later. I'm glad I have soup to comfort me!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Step 1
Oven 350 degrees
Slice a medium butternut squash longways.
Remove seeds.
Place flat side down in a casserole pan with 1 inch of water.
Bake 35-45 minutes. It is done when a fork can easily pierce the skin and the underside gives when pressed.
Remove from the pan and LET IT COOL.
Scoop the insides out with a spoon leaving the skin behind.
Set aside.

Step 2
One soup pan

Saute 1/2 a sweet onion- minced- in margarine.
Add 1 stalk of celery with leaves, finely chopped.
Then add 1 medium carrot- peeled and chopped
along with 1 cup of water.

Next,
Peel and cube 4 medium potatoes
Yes, regular brown Idaho potatoes work fine. You don't need the floury reds or yellows.
Add diced potatoes and 2 cups of water.
You want the water to just cover the potatoes. Too much water in this recipe will mean a watery, not creamy soup. It'll be hard to resist adding water after the next step because the smell will be so concentrated, but don't do it.
After the potatoes have cooked but still retain their shape,
add 2 Knorr Vegetarian Bouillon cubes.
The smell will be strong but it's important to not add any liquid. You will get all the liquid you need from the squash.
Cook just long enough to dissolve the cubes.
Add the chunks of butternut squash, stir well.

Step 3
The food processor

I have a larger food processor otherwise you'll have to work with what you have and recombine everything in the soup pot later.
Pour the soup into the food processor with the blade in place. Puree everything.
Add 1 TSP salt
and 1 TSP ground pepper
and 2 TBSP of cream cheese
Puree until well blended.

Serve and enjoy.
If you reheat this, careful not to scald it now that the cream cheese has been added.

UPDATE:
I made this soup again recently and took time to measure the amount of butternut squash. A medium squash yielded a little over 4 1/2 cups. I also kept the squash in the oven longer and the skin began to brown all over. When cool, the skin peeled off easily, so little was lost.