Butternut Squash Soup

extra virgin olive oil
1 stick butter
1 or 2 large sweet onions, chopped
½ large fennel bulb with “fern”
1 large butternut squash
2 large carrots
white wine or Zinfandel
fresh sage
4 cups chicken broth (may use low sodium)

Pour generous amount of olive oil to cover bottom of a stock pot.

Add ¼-1/2 stick butter. Heat over low-medium heat.

Add chopped onion. Cook until translucent.

Clean fennel bulb and the fern (the fern is the top, finely-leafed portion of the fennel) under cold water and pat dry. Detach some fern from stems, discarding stems (they can be pithy).

Chop bulb, discarding tough outer layer. Add chopped fennel bulb to onion and continue to sauté over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Peel squash and carrots. Cut squash into medium sized cubes; slice carrot.

Add approximately 2 teaspoons salt to pan (Kosher salt preferred), and sprinkle with pepper (use white pepper if available).

Turn heat to medium, add ¼-1 cup wine to onion and fennel; cook until alcohol “burns off”, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

Add carrot and squash to pot. Add 4 or 5 cans of chicken stock and remaining butter. Cover and bring to a slow boil.

Mince several sage leaves and chop reserved fennel fern. Add to pot.

Reduce to simmer, and cook until vegetables are very tender.

Flavor with a dash of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, curry powder, nutmeg, ginger, if preferred.

Remove soup from heat and puree with hand mixer/blender.