Cumin Butternut Squash Soup
1 to 2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and coarsely chopped (5 cups)
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Blood oranges or oranges, thinly sliced (optional)
1. In a small skillet cook cumin seeds over medium heat for about 1 minute or until seeds become fragrant and turn a shade darker, stirring frequently. Immediately remove seeds from skillet; set aside.
2. In a large saucepan melt butter. Stir in onion, carrot and celery. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in squash and ground cumin. Cook and stir for 5 minutes more. Add broth; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for about 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Puree mixture in small batches in a food processor bowl or blender container until smooth. Return pureed mixture to the saucepan. Stir in buttermilk, salt, and pepper; heat through.
3. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with orange slices and toasted cumin seeds.