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Pumpkin Soup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sliced, washed leeks, with tops
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups peeled pumpkin chunks or 2 cups plain pureed canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp light brown sugar
1/3 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream, for garnish

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter and oil over moderately
high heat. Add the onion, celery, leeks, garlic, and ginger and
saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the stock, pumpkin, and
salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat cover, and simmer for 20
minutes or until the soup has thickened and the flavors are blended.
In a food processor or blender, puree the soup, in batches if
necessary until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir
in the sugar and nutmeg. Reheat over moderately high heat, stirring
occasionally, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Ladle into
soup bowls and garnish each serving with a tablespoon of yogurt.

Sweet Potato Soup

Prepare as for Pumpkin Soup, adding one 3-inch cinnamon stick and
a pinch of ground cloves along with the vegetables and ginger and
substituting 3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes for the pumpkin.
Before pureeing the soup, remove the cinnamon stick with a slotted
spoon. For the brown sugar, substitute 1 teaspoon maple syrup.


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