Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup: the true test of a good cook

Tis the time of year when the scent of pumpkin pies fills the air. I love pumpkin but have had my fair share of pies made out of them. That’s why I want to share with you a new way to use pumpkin: Pumpkin and Acorn Squash Soup. It’s delicious, vibrant, and satisfying. 
1 pumpkin 3 lb 
1 acorn squash 2 lb
4 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons honey
1 large onion
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Garnish: thyme, parsley, pin nuts, croutons, Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 1 Tbsp honey, and sprinkle of salt. 

Cut pumpkin and squash in half and remove all the seeds. Place the pumpkin and squash onto a baking sheet covered in foil. Brush the mixture of butter, honey and salt, onto the pulp of the pumpkin and squash. Bake pumpkin and squash at 400° for about 45 minutes or until tender (pierce the squash and pumpkin to test tenderness). Remove from oven when done and allow the pumpkin and squash to cool. Scoop out pulp of the pumpkin and squash, discard the shell.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add thyme and cook for another minute. Stir in chicken broth along with the pumpkin and squash pulp. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir to quicken the cooling process.

Put the soup into a blender and process until smooth with the desired consistency. Pour the soup back into the pot; add the half-and-half, vinegar, ginger, nutmeg, and 1 Tbsp honey. Cook the soup over low heat until the soup is evenly heated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a thick slice of bread and garnish with croutons, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


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