How to Make It
1. Peel and seed squash, reserving peels, trimmings, and seeds. Cube the peeled and seeded squash. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add squash scraps; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add 7 cups water, allspice, peppercorns, thyme, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Strain mixture into a large bowl, and discard the solids. Set squash stock aside.
2. Wipe pan clean with paper towels, and heat over medium. Add 3 tablespoons oil and onion; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cubed squash; cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved stock and salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until squash is very tender.
3. Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Stir in vinegar and red pepper. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Top evenly with pomegranate and cilantro.
Butternut Squash Prep Tip:
Start by using a vegetable peeler to strip the peel from the top of the butternut squash to the bottom. Use a large chef’s knife to slice off the top and bottom ends. Cut squash in half crosswise; cut each half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape seeds and pulp from bottom halves. Cut into pieces as directed in recipes.
Also appeared in: Cooking Light, September, 2021