This is a tasty, simple soup. You want to use a fairly dense, peasant-type bread so it doesn’t dissolve in the broth. This is a good way to use up some bread that’s getting stale.

2 1/2 lbs kabocha, hubbard, butternut, or other winter squash
6 c broth or water
12 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 large fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 t dried sage
salt, to taste
4 c diced, untrimmed country bread
grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bake squash until tender, either whole (and pierced) or cut in half, seeds and fibers scooped out. If cut in half, bake cut side down, with a splash of water in the baking pan.

2. When cool enough to handle, if whole, cut in half and scoop out seeds and fibers. Scoop out flesh from squash shells and add directly to soup pot. Add broth or water, garlic, sage leaves, and salt. Stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.

3. Add bread, stir to combine, and take the pot off the heat. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Stir well, then cover and let sit for another few minutes.

4. Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese generously over top.