Adapted from More Cooking in Wine Country by Joanne Weir

The flavors of this soup belong to autumn! Toasting the spices first will bring out their flavor while roasting the squash accentuates its natural sweetness. You’ll be amazed at the depth of flavor!

1 butternut squash (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock (alternatively you could use vegetable stock)
3 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped  fresh cilantro  (you could substitute fresh parsley if you don’t like cilantro)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and place it, cut sides down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly. With a spoon, remove and discard the seeds. Scrape the pulp from the skin and discard the skin.

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric and coriander and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, sugar, chicken stock, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Let it cool a bit, about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup- an immersion blender works wonders here, or use a blender and puree it in batches. Puree until very smooth. Put the soup back into the pot and gently reheat.  If the soup is too thick add some water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of yogurt and serve.