You can substitute any hard skinned squash like acorn or butternut. I chose to puree the soup, but if you cut all the vegetables in uniform pieces, you could certainly keep it chunky.
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Time: 20 minutes active; 100 minutes total
2 pounds pumpkin, acorn or butternut squash
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup quick-cooking (or pearl) barley
1 medium potato, cubed
6 cups broth
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the stem and seeds. (You can save the seeds; roast them and eat them as a snack or as a topping for salads and Mexican food. There are lots of recipes out there.) Place the pumpkin halves in a baking dish filled with about 1/4″ inch of water. Bake for 45-60 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Peel off the skin and chop.
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cinnamon and allspice and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add garlic, onion, carrots and ginger. Saute 4-5 minutes.
3. Add the pumpkin, barley, potato, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Serve chunky-style or puree for a smooth finish.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.