I start making this soup as soon as there is a hint of fall in the air and don’t stop making it until Spring. Tonight we will have it with bread and a salad, but most of the time it’s for an after school snack. It’s the perfect soup for cold weather. No recipe involved anymore which is probably why it always tastes a little different each time. I think the secret is in the Chili powder from Dean & Deluca. I buy it all the time and often give it as a hostess gift. Recipe for Butternut Squash Soup (below) originally from 8700 Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ…and to my best recollection.In a heavy pan, melt about 2 tablespoons butter and a little olive oil. Add 1 onion, diced, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 3 shallots, chopped, and 1 small bunch green onions, chopped. When onions are translucent, add about a quarter cup of flour and stir constantly so that it does not scorch. Add the spices: about a tablespoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Stir into flour and onion mixture. Add one pound butternut squash that has been cut into cubes. Add 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Cook on medium low heat until squash is very tender. Pour into a blender (in batches and remove the little cap and cover with clean cloth) and puree until very smooth. You can add a little cream or milk at the end. Tonight I added caramelized shallots and I don’t know why I don’t do this every time. They are so easy to make and delicious. To make the caramelized shallots, slice 2or 3 shallots as thin as possible and saute them in a pan with olive oil and a little butter. When they start to get color, add a salt and pepper. Continue to saute and then add a teaspoon of sugar and at the very end a splash of balsamic. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate covered with a paper towel. I saved the remaining olive oil and butter and extra shallots to use as a pizza topping for tomorrow. Enjoy.