- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 lbs whole butternut squash
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Paprika (to garnish)
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and crosswise, scrape seeds and strings from squash and reserve.
- In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, saute the shallot in the butter until translucent, about 3 minutes; add the reserved seeds and scrapings and cook, stirring another 4 minutes.
- Add water and salt and bring to a boil; place a steamer basket in the pot; put squash in basket, skin side up; reduce heat to medium low, cover and steam 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Cool squash; remove flesh and set aside, throw away skins; strain the steaming liquid and throw away the solids; there should be 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
- In a blender, puree the squash a bit at a time; add enough of the liquid to make a smooth and creamy consistency; transfer each batch to a saucepan.
- Stir in any remaining liquid, the cream and brown sugar; warm over low heat until hot; add nutmeg and salt to taste; serve in soup bowl and garnish with a sprinkling of paprika.