Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
1 butternut squash, divided
lengthwise and roasted
1 medium yellow onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
1 half teaspoon of pepper
1 third cup of white wine
4 cups of low sodium chicken stock
lemon juice (optional)
Autumn is definitely upon us, and nothing soothes the soul better than a bowl of hot and flavorful soup. Roasted butternut squash and pear soup is the perfect blend of good nutrition and comforting warmth all in one delicious bowl. Try this silky, puréed soup and start the Autumn season right.
To begin, thoroughly wash 1 butternut squash and preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. After washing, cut the butternut squash lengthwise by laying it on the cutting board, inserting the tip of a sharpened chef’s knife into the center of the squash and firmly but carefully guiding the knife downward on each half.
After the butternut squash is cut lengthwise, lightly grease a baking sheet and lay both halves of the squash flesh down on the baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and roast the squash for about 1 hour. Roasting the butternut squash prior to use provides the soup with a tender sweetness, smooth texture and an excellent depth of flavor. When the outer layer of the squash is nicely browned and the inner flesh is golden, the roasting process is complete. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool.
While the butternut squash is roasting to perfection, chop 1 medium onion and place aside. At this time the pear can be prepared as well. Peel, core and chop the pear and, if desired sprinkle the chopped pear with fresh lemon juice to prevent it from oxidizing and turning brown.
When the butternut squash is finished roasting and has cooled enough to handle, remove the seeds with a table spoon and discard. Scoop the flesh out and place in a bowl. Saute the onion and pear in a sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon of dried sage. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add the butternut squash, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 half teaspoon of pepper to the sautéed onion and pear. Add 1/3 cup of white wine and 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stir well, lower the temperature and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
After the soup is finished simmering, stir well and carefully purée the hot soup using one of 3 methods.
1. Purée With a Food Processor
Add the roasted butternut and squash soup to the work bowl of the food processor in batches by carefully spooning small amounts of the soup in at a time to acquire a smooth and even texture. Do not over fill the work bowl. Purée the soup by securing the lid on the food processor and pulsing several time and then process until smooth, stopping the processor occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
2. Purée With a Blender
Carefully ladle the hot soup into the blender until there is room 2 inches from the top. Place the lid on top of the blender and cover it with a clean, folded dish towel. The towel will prevent steam from escaping the lid and causing burns. Hold the lid and the towel in place and begin blending on low speed and gradually increasing the speed until the mixture is well blended and silky smooth.
3. Purée With an Immersion Blender
The immersion blender allows for a smooth purée without the necessity of transferring the soup to a different container. The soup can be blended directly in the sauce pan. Submerge the immersion blender completely into the soup, turn on and blend thoroughly, waiting until the blades have stopped after powering down before removing the blender from the soup.
After puréeing, taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper if necessary. Reheat the soup and serve immediately. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, green onions and crusty buttered bread if desired. Enjoy!