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Pumpkin & white bean soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 qts. stock, chicken or vegetable
1 can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin
3 cups white beans, cooked "al dente"
1 tablespoon each: finely chopped fresh parsley, sage, and thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish suggestions: grated parmesan cheese and/or chopped crispy bacon

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and cook until vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Add the wine and cook a few more minutes or until mostly reduced. Add half the stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are completely soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Process vegetable mixture in a blender until completely pureed then add back to the soup pot.

Add remaining stock to the pot along with the pumpkin and the white beans. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer soup for approximately 20 minutes or until beans are softer. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as chopped herbs. Serve hot with suggested garnishes. Makes 8-10 servings.

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