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Pumpkins are plentiful right now so don’t let them go to waste.  Here is a soup that is easy to prepare and tasty.  It is packed full of Vitamin C and will warm you on chilly evenings.  Enjoy!

1 medium pumpkin, about 3 1/2 pounds

1 medium acorn squash, about 2 pounds

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons honey, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

4 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Fresh thyme sprigs and roasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut pumpkin and squash in half lengthwise, cutting through stem and bottom end.  Reserve seeds for another use.  Place pumpkin and squash halves, cut sides up, in an aluminum foil-lined shallow pan.

Microwave 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 25 seconds or until melted; stir in 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Brush cut sides of pumpkin and squash with butter mixture.

Bake pumpkin and squash for 45 minutes or until tender.  Let cool completely (about 15 minutes).  Scoop out pulp, discarding shells.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add thyme; sauté 1 minute.

Stir in broth and pumpkin and squash pulp.  Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

Process soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return soup to Dutch oven.  Stir in half-and-half, cider vinegar, ginger, nutmeg, pepper to taste and remaining 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Stirring often, cook over low heat 3 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Garnish, if desired, with thyme sprig and pumpkin seeds.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe appeared in the October 20, 2012 Richmond Times Dispatch and comes from the Southern Living Home Cooking Basics cookbook.