Pumpkin Soup with Point Reyes Original Blue Croutons

Pumpkin Soup with Point Reyes Original Blue Croutons

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Pumpkin Soup with Point Reyes Original Blue Croutons
Serves 8

For the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sugar pie pumpkin or butternut squash (approximately 3 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

For the croutons:
8 oz. Ciabatta, crust removed and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 oz Point Reyes Original Blue, crumbled

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt, cooking onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add butternut squash and broth. Cook 15 – 20 minutes until squash is tender.
Meanwhile, make the croutons. Toss cubed bread with olive oil in a medium bowl. Add pepper and Original Blue, stirring to coat bread evenly. Place bread on baking sheet and sprinkle with any cheese remaining in your bowl. Bake croutons until browned, stirring occasionally, 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Puree soup with immersion blender or in a standing blender until smooth. Return soup to pot, stir in thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup hot in bowls with a few croutons on top.