Roasted Squash & Winter Vegetable Soup


Ingredients:

8 oz bacon strips, sliced to 1/2 inch
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 leeks, cleaned and sliced into 1" julienne strips
6 ribs celery, sliced
2 cups sliced okra
3 cups carrot, 1/4 inch slices
8 cups chicken stock
1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced to 1/2 inch
4 medium potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1 small head of cabbage, coarsley chopped
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste

Directions:

In a baking pan place acorn squash cut side down. Mix 1 tsp salt and some ground pepper to a cup of water and add to pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. to 1 hour till tender. Let cool and scrape squash out of skin.

in a large soup pot, heat chopped bacon until it begins to brown. Add chopped onion, leeks and celery, and cook until they begin to wilt, about 15 min. Add stock and carrots, and heat until it comes to a simmer.

Add potatoes, cabbage and rutabaga and bring back to a boil. Add frozen spinach & sliced okra. When soup begins to boil again, add tarragon, thyme and black pepper, followed by the sherry. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften, but are still firm.

Remove about half of the vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in food processor with the acorn squash and about a cup of stock. Puree till smooth and return to pot.

Add cream and simmer for another 10 minutes, being careful not to let soup come to a full boil. Salt to taste. Serve with chopped parsely or chives for garnish. Makes 12 servings.


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