5 T. unsalted butter

2 c. chopped yellow onions

1 bay leaf

4 c. butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tailmeat

2 1/4 t. salt

1/8 t. white pepper

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

1/4 t. dried sweet basil

1/4 t. dried thyme

1/4 t. minced garlic

1/2 c. shrimp or fish stock

6 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 t. finely chopped fresh basil

Heat a 4-quart aluminum saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3 T. unsalted butter, the onions and bay leaf. Cook, stirring constantly, until they just begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the butternut squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to soften and turn brown, about 7-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add 1 T. unsalted butter and the crawfish. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, white pepper, cayenne, dried basil, thyme and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a spoon. Add the shrimp or fish stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and puree. Return mixture to saucepan and add the cream. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Just before serving add the fresh basil and remaining 1 T. butter. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and whole crawfish tail if desired: Makes about 8 cups.    

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