Roasted Winter Squash and Pear Soup

Some heirloom squash can be diffi cult to peel and cut into cubes. You can steam the squash instead of roasting the cubes. Halve the squash and remove the seeds. Then place the squash halves, cut side down, in a large baking pan with sides and cover with two inches of water. Steam the squash in a 350 degree oven until a knife easily pierces the skin. Remove, cool and scoop out the flesh.
By | September 15, 2014

Instructions

To prepare the soup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick food spray. Toss the winter squash cubes with the olive oil. Place in a single layer on the prepared pan. Roast in the preheated oven until cooked through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

In a medium stock pot or saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent; about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fl our and with the heat on low, stir and cook for 1 ½ minutes.

Add the roasted squash, the pears, cinnamon, ginger vegetable stock, maple syrup, salt and white pepper. Simmer on medium low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the optional half and half or cream. Puree the soup in several batches in a food processor until smooth. Alternately, the soup can be pureed by placing an immersion blender directly into the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the soup seems too thick, simply add some additional stock.

Garnish with toasted pepitas.

To prepare the toasted pepitas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss all the ingredients together. Place pepitas on the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove. Pepitas can be stored at room temperature in a zip lock bag or covered container.

8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

Soup
  • 6 cups of winter squash cubes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (more if needed depending on how thick you would like the soup)
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (optional)
Toasted Pepitas
  • ½ cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
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