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Roasted squash soup

October 8, 2008

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Serves 12

The blend of acorn and butternut squashes gives this soup a rich, full flavor. Each serving goes into an acorn squash half; you'll need enough pans to roast all the squash.

6 small acorn squash
1 small to medium butternut squash
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 cups chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand 2 large roasting pans. Halve the acorn and butternut squash lengthwise. Set them cut sides down in the pans. Add enough water to just cover the bottom of each pan, add 1/2 tablespoon butter to each pan, with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash are tender and the skins give a little when pressed with a finger.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the apples, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the onions soften. Stir in the curry powder, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a food processor.

3. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Make sure the sage leaves are dry. Heat the canola over high heat. Add the sage leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more or until the garlic begins to brown. Transfer to paper towels.

4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Scoop out the pulp from the butternut squash; discard the skin. Scoop most of the pulp from the acorn halves, leaving about 1/2 inch close to the shell. Sprinkle the shells with salt and pepper.

5. Add half the squash flesh to the food processor. Puree the squash in batches, transferring each to a pot. Stir in the chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Set an acorn half on each of six deep plates. Ladle the soup into the cups. Garnish with the sage mixture. Adapted from Julia Shanks