Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream

Butternut squash is a very healthy vegetable and apple juice provides just the right touch of sweetness to balance the spices in this vibrant soup. I love its rich orange color. A drizzle of Chipotle Cream and sprinkle of chives or parsley make it look so elegant but it is also delicious served just plain.

Soup

2 cups apple juice
2 boxes (12 ounces each) frozen butternut squash
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley, for garnish, or parsley

Chipotle Cream

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream or vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

[1] In large pot, combine all of the soup ingredients except lemon juice and chives. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir mixture occasionally to break up frozen chunks of squash.

[2] While soup simmers, make Chipotle Cream: In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, agave nectar, and chipotle chile powder. Set aside.

[3] With handheld immersion blender, puree soup until very smooth. Stir in lemon juice and serve hot, garnished with chives and drizzle of Chipotle Cream. Refrigerate any leftover cream, tightly covered, for a week. Serves 4 as a main dish.