Two types of squash offer fuller, more rounded flavor--the earthiness of acorn squash offsets the sweetness of butternut--but you can use all of one type, if you prefer. Raw winter squash is tough to peel and dice, so we call for roasting the squash halves first, then scooping out the tender pulp.
Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2007
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place squash, cut sides down, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.
Combine onion and oil, tossing to coat. Spread onion mixture onto pan around squash. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until squash and onion are tender. Cool slightly. Scoop out squash pulp from skins; discard skins.
Place onion and squash pulp in a Dutch oven. Stir in broth and the next 5 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in half-and-half. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with thyme, if desired.
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