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Acorn Squash Soup

4 Acorn squash
3 Carrots, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
1/3 c Water
2 tb Butter
1 tb All-purpose flour
1 ts Salt
1/2 To 1 tsp pepper
29 oz Chicken broth
1/2 c Sherry
1/2 ts Ground nutmeg
1/8 ts Paprika
1 ds Of ground allspice
1 ds Of red pepper
1 c Half-and-half
1 1/2 tb Sherry (optional)
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 1 inch. Bake at 350 F 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 for 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 for 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 for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add pureed vegetable mixture, chicken broth, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 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.

Yield: 8 servings

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