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  Pumpkin Vegetable Soup



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2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and chopped
2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved crosswise
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup potatoes, cooked and diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups no-chicken or veggie broth
4 cups water
4 cups calabaza, pumpkin, butternut, acorn or hubbard squash, cooked
Salt and freshly ground pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large covered pot over medium heat.
Add shallots ad stir well. Cook 2-3 minutes.
Add mushrooms, celery and carrots. Stir well to coat with oil and cook 5 minutes.
Stir in grape tomatoes, green beans and potatoes. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Push the cooked veggies to one side of the pot and place the tomato paste in the space created.
Stir paste while it cooks for one minute.
Add the thyme, broth and water. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Cover, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in cooked squash. Cover and cook another 15 minutes.
Stir well. Use a potato masher to smooth out any squash lumps.
Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve immediately or let simmer over lowest heat until ready to serve.
Serve hot.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

Smooth and Sherried—add 1/4 cup sherry with the thyme.
When soup is completely cooked, let cool for 30 minutes.
Puree entire batch of soup until smooth and return to pot to reheat.
If desired, top each portion with an additional 1/2 teaspoon sherry.

Chunky Stew—cut all veggies into 1-2 inch pieces.
When soup is completely cooked, remove 3 cups and puree in blender.
Return to pot and stir well to incorporate.

Copyright © 2019 Stefanie Samara Hamblen