BUTTERNUT OR ACORN SQUASH SOUP WITH ROASTED SWEET RED PEPPER

BUTTERNUT OR ACORN SQUASH
SOUP WITH ROASTED SWEET RED PEPPER

about 1½ to 2 quarts, 6 to 8
servings

 

  • 2
    to 3 pounds butternut or acorn squash (4 cups finely mashed or pureed
    cooked squash) peel, seeds, and stringy pulp removed),
  • 3
    (14½-ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth, undiluted, or 5 cups dry white
    wine or water
  • ½
    cup minced celery
  • ½
    cup minced peeled onion or green onion (include some green tops)
  • Salt
    and white pepper to taste
  • Ground
    nutmeg to taste (optional)
  • Additional
    chicken or vegetable broth or dry white wine or water as needed
  • 1
    to 2 roasted sweet red pepper(s), peel, stem, seeds removed, and cut into
    bite-size pieces (see note)
  • Bite-size
    cubes of peeled cooked butternut or acorn squash for garnish (optional)
  • Dollops
    of sour cream, divided, for garnish (optional)
  • Minced
    parsley (no stems) for garnish (optional)

 

Place
squash in a microwave oven on a sheet of wax paper; microwave at HIGH power for
2 to 4 minutes, or until squash is easy to cut with a sharp knife.  Allow squash to cool for easier
handling.  With a sharp knife, cut squash
into quarters or small to medium-size pieces; remove seeds and stringy pulp and
discard (may reserve seeds for toasting, if desired).  Remove peel with a peeler or sharp knife and
discard.  May cut a few bite-size cubes
of squash and reserve for garnish, if desired. 
Finely mash or puree squash in a blender container, covered, at
medium speed until smooth.  May add some
of the chicken broth or wine or water to blender container to make pureeing
easier, if desired.

 

In
a large heavy saucepan, combine mashed or pureed squash, chicken broth or wine
or water, celery, and onion.  Bring
mixture to a simmer over moderate heat; reduce heat to low and season to taste
with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. 
Cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 30 minutes to blend
flavors.  Add additional chicken broth or
wine or water as desired if soup is too thick. 
Adjust seasoning to taste.  About
5 to 7 minutes before end of cooking time, add pears, if desired, and roasted
pepper pieces.

 

Serve
hot or chilled as desired.  May garnish each
serving with bite-size cubes of cooked squash and/or a dollop of sour cream
and/or a sprinkle of minced parsley, if desired.

 

Note:
To roast
pepper(s), place pepper(s) on a rack in a broiler pan.  Broil pepper(s), about 4 inches from heat source, charring all sides, turning
pepper(s) as needed.  Place peppers in a
brown paper bag or wrap in foil; seal bag or foil and allow to stand
at room temperature for about 20 minutes. 
Remove charred peel, stem, and seeds.  Cut into desired size pieces.

Note:
Soup may be
stored in a tightly closed glass or plastic container for 3 to 4 days.  Or, soup may be frozen in a tightly sealed
freezer container.

Variations:
Add 2 to 3
tablespoons or to taste finely grated peeled gingerroot to soup mixture.

Omit nutmeg; add about 1 teaspoon chili
powder and ½ teaspoon ground cumin or to taste to soup mixture

Add ½ cup shredded or
grated provolone or gouda or smoked provolone or
smoked gouda
cheese to soup during the last 30
minutes of cooking.

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