Lightened Tortilla and Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients:

-Cooking spray
-2 teaspoons butter
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 cups diced onions
-3 carrots, diced
-3 ribs celery, sliced
-1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced
-12 cups vegetable broth
-1 cup sherry
-8 ounces baked nacho tortilla chips (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
-1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
-6 ounces shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese
-1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
-1 bunch scallions, sliced
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Method:

Coat a large stock pot with cooking spray and then melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and butternut squash. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth and sherry and scrape up any brown bits that may have accumulated. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is soft and tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the tortilla chips until wilted. Add the cilantro and cheese and let the cheese melt into the soup. (Not all brands of reduced fat cheese melt very well, but don’t worry….the blender remedies this.)

Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or work in batches with a regular blender until completely smooth. Add the chiles and scallions and stir to combine. Add lime juice to taste. Serve unadorned or with toppers like extra scallions, greek yogurt, cilantro, cheese, or even guacamole.

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