Dr. Weil's Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup

Dr. Andrew Weil is among the best-known doctors in America, an alternative health guru who espouses the power of healthful eating and stress reduction as the best way to improve health. The soup below is one of his stress free soups which is simply, easy and delicious.

Instructions:
1 butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and red chile powder to taste
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss the squash, onions, garlic and apples with the oil to coat. Season well with the salt and chile. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
2. Put half of the vegetables and 2 cups of the broth in a food processor and puree until smooth. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and broth. Return pureed mixture to the pot. If the soup is too thick, add more broth. Correct the seasoning and heat to a simmer.
3. Serve in warm bowls with dollops of cilantro-walnut pesto.

Cilantro-Walnut Pesto

1 cup walnut pieces
2 cups cilantro leaves, washed, drained and stemmed
1 green jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1. Put the walnuts in a food processor and grind them fine.
2. Add the cilantro, jalapeno pepper, salt, vinegar and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and blend. Blend in a little more water if necessary to make a thick sauce. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.