Fantastic, smooth soup with interesting flavors, but it's a lot of work.
1. Using a sharp knife, cut the rind off the calabaza/butternut squash. Scrape out any seeds with a spoon and cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and celery until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the calabaza, 4 cups of the stock, the herbs, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, uncovered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup in a blender or food processor.
4. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the half and half. If the soup is too thick, add more stock. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or pepper.
5. Prepare the spice-scented whipped cream: Beat the cream to soft peaks in a chilled bowl. Whip in the spices and salt and pepper.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and place a dollop of the spice-scented whipped cream in the center of each. Sprinkle the cream with the chives.
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