Acorn Squash-Thyme Soup

Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 11:38 am
Make this soup at least one day ahead of serving.

Acorn Squash-Thyme Soup
Adapted by BumbleBeeBoogie

9 large acorn squash, divided 8-1
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium leeks
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
5 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups half-and-half (half cream-half milk)
Garnish: 8 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.

Cut a 1-inch slice from the bottom of 8 of the squash (reserve the remaining 1 squash), allowing the squash to sit flat. Remove the stems from the tops. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Sprinkle the squash with the salt and pepper and place them, cut side up, in a lightly greased 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan.

Bake the squash for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.

Remove the squash from the oven and scoop out squash pulp, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Reserve the squash pulp. Place the squash shells in a plastic bags. Seal the bag and chill for 8 hours.

Peel the 1 remaining acorn squash; remove the seeds, and chop the pulp. Reserve the pulp.

Remove and discard the green tops from the leeks. Thoroughy rinse the leaks to remove any sand. Cut the white portions in half lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy pot over medium or medium-high heat. Add the chopped squash, leeks, garlic, and 2 tablespoons thyme. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the broth, and cook 30 minutes or until the squash is tender. Stir in the reserved baked squash pulp. Cool slightly.

Process the soup mixture, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot; cover and chill 8 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the squash shells from the refrigerator.

Stir in the half-and-half into the soup and simmer until heated, taking care that the soup does not boil or it will curdle.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the reserved squash shells, cut sides down, and cook them for 2 minutes or until the edges are browned.

Serve the soup in the shells and garnish with the thyme leaves, if desired.

Yield: Makes 8 servings
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