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Acorn Squash Soup

4 acorn squash
3 carrots; sliced
1 onion; sliced
1/3 c water
2 T butter
1 T flour
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
28 oz chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c sherry
1/2 ts nutmeg, ground
1/8 ts paprika
1 ds allspice, ground
1 ds red pepper
1 c half-and-half
1 1/2 T sherry; (opt)
kale leaves

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place squash,
cut side down, in a broiler pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth
of one inch. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spoon pulp from
squash to create a serving bowl, reserving pulp.

Place carrots and onion in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to
a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables
are tender. Drain; combine vegetables with reserved pulp and 1/3
cup water in container of an electric blender or food processor.
Process 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat; add flour, salt,
and pepper, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Gradually add pureed vegetable mixture, chicken broth,
and next five ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat,
and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in half-and-half
and, if desired, 1-1/2 Tbsp sherry. Cook until heated. If desired,
serve in squash shells on a bed of kale. Sprinkle with paprika.


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