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A hearty pumpkin soup

Arable FarmingCooking

One of fall's many pleasures is rich, velvety pumpkin soup. Apples add a nice hint of sweetness to this recipe, which is easy to put together.

This comfort soup is satisfying yet low in fat and cholesterol, and high in potassium.

Tips:
To cut a pumpkin, acorn squash or other winter squash: pierce in several places with a fork; microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon.

To toast chopped nuts, small nuts and seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Roasted pumpkin-apple soup

Servings: 12, about 1 cup each

Note: To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on High, covered, stirring frequently, or on the stovetop over medium heat.

Ingredients:
4 pounds pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 large sweet-tart apples ,Empire, Cameo or Braeburn, unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Toss pumpkin (or squash), apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.

3. Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin (or squash) and apples to a blender along with 2 cups broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes. Serve each portion topped with hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 180 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 6 g fiber; 525 mg sodium; 570 mg potassium.

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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