A true comfort food, the cinnamon adds a bold and spicy, sweet warm taste to this velvety soup. The savoury, herbal flavours of oregano boost the distinct flavours of the squash and makes for a rich and flavourful soup.
1 medium (about 2 pounds) butternut squash or pumpkin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water, or as needed
4 sprigs of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the butternut squash and cut into half. Scoop out the seeds and cut into 1-inch chunks. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter over medium to high heat and add the shallots, cinnamon and ginger, and sauté, stirring continuously until the shallots begin to turn golden brown.
Add the chopped squash and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is tender.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, and purée the mixture in batches until smooth. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat until it is hot.
Garnish each portion with a sprig of oregano.
By Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna