A few weeks ago, Parade magazine published a recipe called Simplest Butternut Squash Soup. This is one of my favorite fall flavors, and the recipe is exactly what the article promised: "embarrassingly simple" but full of "rich flavors that will make any home cook proud."
1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs.)
3 slender or 1 1/2 larger leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, washed and cut into 1-inch-long pieces
3 cups whole milk
3 cups water (I substituted chicken broth for more flavor)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash. Scoop out the seeds and string with a sharp spoon and discard. Cut the squash into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Toss into a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the leeks, milk and water (or broth); salt generously and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 25-35 minutes, or until the squash is soft enough to mash when pressed lightly with the back of a spoon.