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Winter Squash Soup with Arugula Pesto


2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 winter squash (Butternut, Kabocha or Hubbard) seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
4 cups (or more) vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Arugula Pesto (see instructions below)

Arugula Pesto:
1/2 cup almonds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups arugula, washed and dried
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat; add butter or oil. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to sweat, about 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add stock; if vegetables are not covered in liquid, add more to cover. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until squash is fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. While the soup is cooking make the pesto. Place the garlic and almonds together in a food processor with a blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the arugula and pulse until finely chopped. Add the cheese and pulse just to incorporate. Then turn on the processor, and with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
  3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches with a blender. Add more stock if necessary to reach desired consistency. Add cream if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle in bowls and swirl with 1 to 2 tablespoons arugula pesto.