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Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

October 27, 2010

I had this recipe pulled from a magazine awhile back .  The idea of the rich texture of squash combined with the sweetness of the pear really appealed to me.  Enter Fall theme week and I suddenly had a reason to try it out! 

It was relatively easy to make, but a bit time-consuming.  I prepped the squash for roasting before my son’s nap time earlier in the day and then was able to mash the pulp before he woke up.  You definitely have to be creative with your time when you’re a mom! 

I roasted the squash on an aluminum lined baking sheet and then wrapped the squash in the aluminum while it cooled.  This step made it much easier to peel off the skin; similar to how you peel a roasted pepper.

The soup came together fairly quickly at that point and I allowed it to simmer while I gave the little guy a bath and put him down to sleep.  See, creative!

Then my husband and I were able to enjoy a quiet, delicious dinner while he slept.  I usually prefer that he be awake while we eat dinner so he gets used to the idea of family meal time, but some days just don’t work out that well. 

 

I paired the soup with a pear, gorgonzola spinach salad and it really hit the spot!

 

Butternut Pear Curry Bisque
Yields: 8 Servings

1 Butternut squash (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon Butter
2 cup Bartlett pear (chopped, peeled, about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cup Onion (thinly sliced)
2 1/3 cup Water
1 cup Pear nectar
2 14 1/2 ounce can Vegetable broth
2 1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black pepper
1/2 cup Half-and-half cream
1 small Bartlett pear (cored and thinly sliced)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet; bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Peel squash; mash pulp. Set aside 3 1/2 cups pulp, reserving remaining squash for another use.
3. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped pear and onion; sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add squash pulp, water, and next 5 ingredients (water through pepper). Bring to a boil; partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Place one-third of squash mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour puréed mixture into a large bowl; repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Return squash mixture to pan; stir in half-and-half. Cook over low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with pear slices.

Kate’s Tips

I find that using an ice cream scooper makes seeding squash much easier. 

I made a half portion of this soup and the small squash you see in the photos produced just a little bit more pulp than I needed.  The full recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of pulp so be aware that you might have extra to use for another recipe or you could just add it to the soup like I did.

I could not find pear nectar anywhere!  I tried three grocery stores and was unsuccessful.  I found guava, strawberry, and mango, but no pear.  I compensated for the lack of nectar by adding extra water.  Having never had pear nectar before, I suspect it would have added a little sweetness to the soup.  If I had planned better I would have added a bit of sugar with the extra water to balance the flavors.  The soup was in no way ruined, but I think the sweetness could have enhanced the overall flavor.

If you don’t already own one, I would highly recommend buying a hand blender.  It makes the processing of blending soups so much easier!  You don’t have to worry about transferring the soup in batches to a conventional blender and you make much less of a mess.  There are several on the market at various price points and I find it to be a huge timesaver.

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