Chef Ned Walsh of 901 Pasta, Yakima, WA.
4 T unsalted butter
1 ea large shallot, minced (about ¼ C)
3 lbs Butternut squash (about 1 large squash), cut in half lengthwise, each half cut in half widthwise; seeds and fibers scraped out & reserved
6 C Water
½ C heavy cream
1 T dark brown sugar
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the seeds and fibers from the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes.
Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, place the squash cut side down, in a steamer basket, and lower the basket into the pot. Cover and steam until the squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and use tongs to transfer the squash to a rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin. Reserve the squash flesh in a bowl and discard the skin.
Strain the steaming liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a second bowl; discard the solids in the strainer. (You should have 2 ½ to 3 cups liquid.) Rinse and dry the pot.
Working in batches and filling the blender jar only halfway for each batch, puree the squash, adding enough reserved steaming liquid to obtain a smooth consistency. Transfer the puree to the clean pot and stir in the remaining steaming liquid, cream, and brown sugar. Warm the soup over medium-low heat until hot, about 3 minutes, Stir in the nutmeg, season with salt to taste, and serve.
Be sure to properly cool any left-over soup when storing in the refrigerator. (Let cool before covering)
The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.