Creamy butternut squash soup

This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen in September 2018 shows creamy butternut squash soup in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in the cookbook “All-Time Best Soups.” (Carl Tremblay/America's Test Kitchen via AP)

Servings: 4-6

Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large shallot, chopped

3 pounds butternut squash, quartered and seeded, with fibers and seeds reserved

6 cups water

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

Pinch ground nutmeg

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in squash seeds and fibers and cook until butter turns orange, about 4 minutes.

Stir in water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, place squash cut side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot. Cover and steam squash until completely tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer cooked squash to rimmed baking sheet. Let squash cool slightly, then scrape cooked squash from skin using soup spoon; discard skin.

Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into large liquid measuring cup. Working in batches, puree cooked squash with 3 cups strained cooking liquid in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return pureed soup to clean pot and stir in cream, sugar, nutmeg, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Return to brief simmer, adding additional strained cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Classic Croutons:

Makes 3 cups

6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1?2-inch cubes (3 cups)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 F. Toss bread with melted butter, season with salt and pepper, and spread onto rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Let cool and serve. (Croutons can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories; 128 calories from fat; 14 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 210 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 3 g protein.

For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit Find more recipes like Creamy Butternut Squash Soup in “All-Time Best Soups .”

America’s Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press