Creamy Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Soup

Although this recipe starts by roasting the pears and squash, these ingredients can be roasted in advance to save time.  Roast a big batch for dinner one night, then a couple nights later, making this soup will be a cinch.  Although it may sound unusual, the squash-pear combo makes a delightful soup base or pasta sauce.

Step 1:  Roast Squash and Pears

  • 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut in roughly 1” cubes
  • 3 med. pears (summer or winter), cored and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 1/2  Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 (F).  Place cut squash and pears on separate rimmed cookie sheets.  Drizzle squash with 1 Tbsp. of oil and pears with remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil.  Sprinkle both with salt and pepper, then toss, spread evenly across respective cookie sheets and bake 20 to 40 minutes, until tender when stuck with a fork.

Step 2:  Puree Squash and Pears

Once roasted, measure out 3 cups roasted squash and puree with pears in a food processor until fairly smooth, but with a little texture remaining, as desired.  Reserve.

Step 3:  Saute Vegetables and Spices

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 med. red (or yellow) onion, diced to 1/4”
  • 3 stalks celery diced to 1/4”
  • 1-2 shakes ground cayenne pepper (red pepper), to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

While squash and pears are cooking, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Add onion and saute, stirring every couple minutes to prevent burning.  When onions are just beginning to brown, stir in celery and cook 5-7  more minutes.  Reduce heat to low, then stir in cayenne and nutmeg and saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add pureed squash and stir/whisk gently with a large fork to combine.

Step 4:  Add Broth and Milk: Simmer

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups rich chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup plain (not vanilla) soy milk (or milk)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Gradually pour broth, then milk into soup, stirring/whisking constantly with large fork to combine.  Cover pan, bring soup to a simmer over low or medium low heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Taste and add more salt or pepper or 1-2 more shakes nutmeg or cayenne, to taste.  If desired, thin with more broth or milk and heat through before serving.

Step 5:  Serve

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Serve soup topped with a sprinkling of cheese.

Serving Options

Pasta Sauce Serve leftovers as a sauce for cheese ravioli, thinning slightly if necessary.  If possible get a whole grain ravioli or tortellini.  Pappardelle’s in the Denver metro area sells fresh, whole grain varieties and online ordering is available.

Mediterranean Style Odd as it may sound, this soup can go an entirely different direction when topped with a little plum (or other dark-fruit) chutney and maybe even a dollop of plain, whole milk yogurt.  There are many good chutney recipes on line, or buy a ready made chutney that is reasonable in terms of sugar content.

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