Tomato Bisque

4 tablespoons butter (we used unsalted)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
5 cups veggie or chicken broth (I used veggie because I save scraps and make it)
1 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid) or about 5 – 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes that have been boiled for 1 minute and then peeled…either way they need to be roughly chopped before using
3 chopped fresh basil sprigs
3 chopped fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream (or less if desired)
1 teaspoon salt (or more if you are using unsalted homemade broth)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion until it starts to get soft. Add the garlic and stir for another minute or two. Add the flour and stir vigorously for 2 – 3 minutes making a roux. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Throw in the herbs and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup either in a blender (in batches) or with a handheld immersion blender. Stir in the desired amount of heavy cream and salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm and freeze the rest.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium to large butternut (3-4 lbs.) or other winter
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 large leeks, white part only cleaned thoroughly and chopped (you could substitute one onion for the leeks if you prefer)
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cups veggie broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon salt (if using salted store-bought broth then taste the soup before adding any salt)
Pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. If you line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper the clean up will be easier. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until the thick part of the squash can easily be pierced with a fork. Let cool then scoop out the pulp and discard the skin. Note: That step can be done in advance. In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped leeks and ginger. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes until tender, but not browned. Add the squash pulp to the pot along with the 5 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with the back of your spoon, for 10 – 15 minutes. Puree the soup either with a hand immersion blender or in a counter top blender/food processor. After the soup has been pureed, stir in the cream and salt (to taste). Ladle into soup bowls, top with pumpkin seeds and serve warm. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.

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