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Acorn Squash Soup with Kale

So, what do you do with the extra kale after making winter lentil soup? I make this yummy, creamy (and healthy!) acorn squash soup.

2 whole acorn squash (about 2 lbs each)
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion*, diced
1/2 bunch kale, thick stems removed, leaves finely chopped (about 4-8 cups)
salt & pepper

First, prepare a squash puree: preheat oven to 400F and place acorn squash on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, turning occasionally, for 1 hour (should be very tender).** When cool enough to handle, halve each squash; scrape out seeds. Scrape out flesh and process in a food processor until smooth. [I often make the squash puree a couple days ahead of time, then refrigerate until I'm ready to use.] Now, cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Leaving fat in pot, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside. Add onion to fat in pan; cook until softened (4-5 min.). Add kale; cook until soft (3-4 min.). Add squash puree; add water one cup at a time until you achieve desired consistency [we like this soup kinda thick, so I add 2-3 cups water]. Bring just to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in bacon and serve.

*Last time I made this (as pictured), I didn't have any white/yellow onion, so I used red onion and it tasted just as good - or better!

**Theoretically, you could also microwave the whole squash for 20-25 minutes, or you could use two 12 oz packages of frozen winter squash puree (thawed), but I've always roasted the squash in the oven.

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