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Lentil Minestrone Stuffed Acorn Squash

The nights are getting colder and Fall has officially arrived (even in San Diego).  Squash season is here ~ butternut, spaghetti and acorn to name a few.  This year I decided to focus on recipes featuring acorn squash.  I created a wonderful bisque and two stuffed recipes using acorn squash as the base.  This dish combines the richness of a minestrone soup with the light, creaminess of the squash.  Both the presentation and flavor of this meal is 5 star.

"Creamy acorn squash compliments the
 peppery lentils and rich minestrone soup flavors!"

INGREDIENTS:
2 acorn squash
2 cups lentils
2 Tbs. olive oil
2/3 cup onions, chopped
2/3 cup celery, chopped
2/3 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
8 Tbs. heavy cream

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


1.     Slice acorn squash in half and remove seeds.

2.     Brush the meat of the squash with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

3.     Bake for 45 minutes.

4.     While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing.

5.     In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat, add a little cool water and set aside.

6.     In a skillet; sauté carrots, onions, and celery in olive oil until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes).

7.     Add tomatoes and seasonings; sauté for 3-4 minutes longer.

8.     Drain lentils.  In a large bowl combine vegetable mixture and lentils; gently toss.

9.     Using a spoon, scoop about half of the meat out of each squash and add to the vegetable/lentil mixture.  Mix to combine all ingredients.  (Be careful to not pierce the outer shell.)

10.  Fill each acorn squash with the stuffing mixture.  Pour two tablespoons of cream into each squash.

11.  Bake for 15 minutes.

12.  Serve and enjoy!

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