This full-flavored creamy soup is equally good with roasted butternut squash, kabocha, sugar pie pumpkin or any other winter squash variety. Serve it as a holiday appetizer or as part of a warming weekday supper.
Using a large chefs knife, trim the top and bottom of the squash, removing as little of the flesh as possible. Peel the squash using a sharp-bladed vegetable peeler to remove all of the skin. Cut the squash in half from stem to root and scrape out the seeds, reserving them for garnish, if desired. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes to make about 5 cups total.
Toss the squash cubes with the olive oil, rosemary and salt and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast at 400 degrees F until the squash is tender and browned in spots, 25-30 minutes.
[The squash can be prepared 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to make the soup.]
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, just until the onion turns translucent. Add the squash and stir to combine.
Add the stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. Or, transfer the soup to a blender and puree.
Stir in the cream and bring back to a simmer. Taste for seasoning before serving.
Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth for a vegetarian version.