• 1/2 c. diced onion
• 1/4 c. diced celery
• 1/4 c. diced carrot
• 1 cinnamon stick
• Freshly ground black pepper or white pepper
• 4 c. chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
• 1/2 tsp. ground toasted coriander, optional
• 1 1/2 c. roasted butternut squash (see Note)
• 1/2 cup half-and-half, optional
• 2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds, optional, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and cinnamon stick, and sauté until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken stock and the coriander, if using, and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes. Stir in the squash, then simmer gently to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. (The soup can be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for several days, or frozen for about 1 month. It will thicken as it cools and may need thinning with stock or water when reheating.)
Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Add the half-and-half, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.