Acorn Squash, Pear, and White Bean Soup
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Squash and Pear Soup--
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
dash of red pepper flakes
20 ounces acorn squash, (about 1 medium squash), peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 medium pear, peeled and chopped
1 cup cannellini beans
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt & Pepper
Balsamic Shiitake Mushrooms--
4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced in half (about a cup and a half)
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
1. Add olive oil to a large saucepan and heat to medium-low.
2. Add the peppers and saute until tender and beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté a minute more.
3. Add in the marjoram, parsley, and red pepper flakes and saute for about 30 seconds. Stir in the acorn squash and pear and cook for another minute, stirring often so that vegetables are coated in spices. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir in 3 cups of vegetable broth and raise heat to high. Bring mixture to boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, and let soup simmer for 20-22 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
5. Once squash is tender, use an immersion blender to puree soup until it is smooth. If soup seems too thick, add additional broth, 1/4 cup at a time.
6. Stir in beans, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let soup simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the mushrooms.
7. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with nonstick spray. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute until slightly golden, and soft, 5-7 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat, and add in balsamic. Stir mushrooms until they are coated in balsamic. Set aside.
8. Stir lime juice into soup, and taste for seasoning.
9. Ladle soup into bowls and top with sautéed mushrooms. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar, if desired.
Nutrition Information--approximately 160 calories per serving (1/4 of the recipe)