persiMon® and Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pepitas

persiMon® and Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted PepitasWarming, slightly sweet and satisfying, this orange-hued soup is comfort in a bowl, yet elegant enough to be served as a tapas “shooter” or the starter to any dinner party.

2 persiMon®, chopped (take stem tops off)
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and roughly diced
1 tsp sea salt
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground hot Spanish paprika
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable if you’d rather make this a vegetarian soup)
2-2½ cups water (if necessary to thin out soup after pureeing)
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for garnish (optional)
Yogurt for drizzling as garnish (optional)

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, celery, and bay leaf, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

Add persiMon®, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, stock, and enough water to cover the chopped ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are soft, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaf before pureeing using a hand blender (or in batches using a blender or food processor) until smooth. Once pureed, and with soup in the saucepan over low heat, add more water if necessary to thin out soup to desired consistency and bring back up to boil.

Ladle into bowls to serve and garnish with a drizzle of yogurt and pepitas if desired.

Serves 6-8

Source: www.maryluzmejia.contently.com

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