Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup

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Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup

Copyright 2013 by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved

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8 servings

Right around Halloween, I stock up on small sized pumpkins and sugar pumpkins, the ones perfect for making soup and pie. I gradually bake up all of them and freeze for future use over the holidays and throughout the winter. Mashing and freezing them in 2 cup increments offers flexibility to make most pie, pudding, or soup recipes. You may use steamed or canned pumpkin, but it doesn’t have any where near the flavor of oven roasted pumpkin. Butternut squash is available all winter and a great stand in for pumpkin. Rule is for every cup pureed squash, add 1 cup broth.

Ingredients:

2 cups diced yellow onions (about 1 onion)

2 apples peeled and chopped

2 TBS butter

1 TBS olive oil

1 medium size pumpkin baked and pureed (about 6 pounds or 6 cups cooked)

6 cups chicken broth

1 and 1/2 TSP salt

1/2 TSP freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

8 thick cut slices of bacon (optional)

3 TBS maple syrup (optional)

Tools:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut pumpkin or squash in half. Place meat side down on a shallow baking pan. Put in oven and turn down oven to 375 degrees. Cook until you see the juices browning on the baking pan (about 1 hour). Scoop out seeds. Scoop out meat of pumpkin. The pumpkin seeds can be rinsed and used as a garnish – they are fully cooked at this point, or discarded along with pumpkin skin.

Cut bacon into 1/4 inch slices. In heavy pan fry until cooked. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

Melt 2 TBS butter and 1TBS olive oil in a fry pan. Add the peeled and chopped apples and 1 cup chopped onion and sauté over medium-high heat until translucent. Add 1 cup chicken stock, 2 TSP salt, and 1/2 TSP freshly ground nutmeg. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

Process the apple onion mixture with the cooked squash meat in a food processor, blender, or food mill (add chicken stock as necessary to keep the blade moving). Add processed pumpkin to a heavy bottomed soup or stock pot. Continue until all the pumpkin is pureed with the apples and onion. Puree any remaining apple onion mixture, if any and add to soup pot.

Add the remaining chicken stock and optional cooked bacon to the soup pot. Stir continually until slightly bubbling over medium heat (about 30 minutes). Careful, don’t let it burn. Add 1 cup cream and the optional maple syrup and stir for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

Variations: You may also substitute with 6 cups baked butternut squash or canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar).

Mince fresh scallions or chives and sprinkle over bowls of soup as garnish.

Drizzle a ring of thick cream over top if desired as an additional garnish. Instead of croutons, add toasted pumpkin seeds.

Vegetable broth may be substituted for the chicken broth, but the flavor will change. Plus the fat soluble Vitamin A will be unavailable without adequate amounts of fat to process it.

I like heating up andouille sausage, slicing and adding to a warmed bowl of leftover soup.

Another way to serve is to place fresh steamed or micro-waved greens at bottom of soup bowl. Spoon hot soup over and stir greens in. If you would like to micro-wave the greens first, place 2 cups fresh baby kale or super greens in bowl, cover, and micro-wave for 30 seconds. It is not a good idea to add greens directly to pumpkin soup pot, because the greens will eventually turn grayish looking – yuck.

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