Acorn Squash Soup

1 chopped onion
1/4 c chopped carrot
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped red bell pepper
2 T butter 
2 T flour
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp curry powder 
2 cups chicken broth
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 cups mashed and cooked acorn squash
Salt and pepper to taste 
Pinch of garlic


In a saucepan, saute the onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper in butter. Stir in flour, bouillon , dill and curry until blended. Gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add teh squash, salt & pepper; heat through and serve.


In a blender, process the soup in batches until smooth or use an immersion blender to puree.


* Add a little spice with hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Freeze batchers in slicone muffin pans.


Pumpkin Stuffed Shells


20 jumbo pasta shells
4 T butter 
1 T olive oil
1 large onion,  diced
1 T garlic
1 bag baby spinach, washed, rinsed, long stems removed and chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar, closer to 2 cups
2 cups milk
1/4 c flour
3/4 cup roasted, pureed pumpkin
Parsley for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees


In a  large pot, cook the pasta shells in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse, then spread out on a sheet pan sho they don’t stick together while the rest of the dish comes together. Set the pot aside and do not wash.


In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and 2 T of butter until butter melts. Add the diced onion, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces with your spoon. Add the spinach to the pan and toss to combine until wilted. Stir in 1/2 c of the shredded cheddar. Set aside.


In the pasta pot, melt 2 T of butter. Whisk in the  flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup milk until it is smooth, then add teh rest of the milk. Bring to a boil,  whisking constantly. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper. Whixk in the pumpkin puree and remaining shredded cheddar.


Cover the bottom of a greased bakinh dish wiht 1/2 cup of the pumpkin sauce. Stuff the cooked shells with beef mixture, and place them in the prepared pan with the opeingns facing down. Sppon the remaining cheese sauce over the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.


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