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Mary Hunt is the award-winning and best-selling author of 23 books. She writes the Everyday Cheapskate column that appears in The Daily Journal.

I have a treat for you today: A recipe for classic butternut squash soup that is ridiculously quick and easy. Easy on the wallet, too. Thick, creamy and full of flavor, this is a company-worthy butternut soup recipe you will make now and forever.

Before we get going here, and just in case you are not into home cooking, let me assure you this is more than just a remarkable hack. It’s the kind of semi-homemade recipe that is so amazing and tastes so fresh it’s going to fool your friends and family into thinking you’ve been peeling, chopping, sieving, pureeing and basically slaving over a hot stove for the better part of a day. That’s the fun part. Even better, all ingredients are easily found in the typical supermarket.

Now, I’m not suggesting in any way you set out to deceive anyone. But should that happen — should someone out of total amazement ask if you really made this glorious gourmet, smooth, velvety soup — you’re on your own with that response. Me? Here’s my response of choice: “Oh, yes. I’m glad you enjoyed it!”

Before you pass it off as especially easy (which it is) or not really homemade, be assured while it’s super easy, it will not make itself. You will need to do the work, which includes a couple of things that do qualify as home cooking — perhaps even gourmet cooking. So, proceed guilt-free and enjoy the compliments.

Now, I need to warn you the recipe in its entirety is so much shorter than my introduction, you might assume I’ve omitted something. Perhaps I’ve forgotten to include tedious techniques, long cooking times and at least a few exotic, even expensive, ingredients.

But nope. I’ve double-checked. All is in good, absolutely delicious order.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 (32-ounce) container butternut squash soup

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen diced butternut squash

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Pour the soup into a medium saucepan or soup pot and add the bag of frozen squash.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Allow to cook very gently, uncovered, until the squash is tender (15 minutes or so should do it). Check from time to time as you don’t want this to turn to mush.

Puree in a typical blender, or use an immersion blender right in the pot. Add salt and pepper, if any, to taste.

Stir in maple syrup.

Stir in the heavy cream, if using.

Done.

Serving suggestion: Serve with a dollop of sour cream and croutons. Serves 4.

You’re done, Einstein. I call you that because this soup will make your friends and family think you’re a genius.

Enjoy.

Mary invites you to go to EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at everydaycheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com.