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Kabocha Sun-Dried Tomato Soup

2 oz. (56 gr) sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 C. (355 ml) boiling water

1 2 1/2 lb. (6 kg) (approximately) kabocha squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. (226 gr) red or white rose potatoes, unpeeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 C. (118 ml) chopped celery leaves (optional)
1 large tomato (about 3/4 lb. or 340 gr) chopped
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
1 3/4 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 C. water

1 stalk celery, diced
1 large onion (about 1 lb.) chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 C. (59 ml) water

  1. Put sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over to soften for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the tomatoes and set aside. Reserve the soak water for a future use or allow it to cool and drink it. It's quite delicious.
  3. Combine second group of ingredients in a large stock pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Fork test squash for tenderness. There should be no resistance. Turn off heat.
  4. While soup is simmering combine the last group of ingredients in a large skillet or wok and sauté until tender, about 5 or 6 minutes, adding more water if needed.
  5. Add the softened sun-dried tomatoes and sautéed onions and celery to stock pot and warm through.
  6. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve with some hearty multi-grain bread. Serves 6.
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