winter vegetable soup with butternut squash and cauliflower

prep time:  20 minutes
cook time:  30 minutes
servings:  4

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 carrot - cut into thin half-circles
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 pound diced butternut squash
1/2 pound diced cauliflower
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup minced italian parsley

1.  heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.  add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion just starts to soften, about 5 minutes.

2.  add the garlic, carrots, dried chile flakes, thyme, and salt.  cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute. 

3.  stir in the butternut squash, cauliflower, vegetable broth, water, and bay leaves.  bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover the saucepan and cook until the squash and cauliflower are tender, 15 - 20 minutes. 

4.  let the soup cool for 10 minutes, then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender.  puree until almost smooth, then stir the mixture back into the soup. 

5.  stir in the parsley, add salt and pepper to taste.

- cookin' canuck

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