Saturday, March 9, 2013

Butternut Squash Pear Soup

My friend Tracy introduced me to this recipe (thank you Tracy!).  The pears make this soup sweet, so my toddler gobbles it up!  If you prefer your soups a little less sweet, make sure to add the chopped cilantro to your bowl; it adds a savory flavor.  

To save time, you could use frozen diced butternut squash instead of fresh (just don't cook it for as long).  

P.S. You can't taste the wine once it cooks so don't worry if you have picky eaters.  They won't notice it.    

Butternut Squash Pear Soup
Adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas 

1 lb butternut squash (peeled, seeded and diced; you'll have about 10 oz of squash when you're done) 
1 large yam or sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs non-hydrogenated margarine  
2 medium onions. sliced
3 large, ripe pears
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup canned coconutmilk
chopped cilantro (optional; as a garnish)  

1.  Put the butternut squash and yam cubes in a pot with the vegetable broth, water, cinnamon stick and salt.   Simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. (If you are using frozen squash,  add it about halfway through cooking the yam).  Remove the cinnamon stick.

2.  Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize.  Peel, core and thinly slice the pears and add them to the onions. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the wine, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3.  Add the pear mixture to the soup and puree with an immersion blender (you could also use a regular blender or a food processor).  Then, add the coconutmilk, and season to taste with salt and pepper.   Heat the soup again just to a simmer, but do not boil.  If you want, you can add a drizzle of leftover coconutmilk and a sprinkle of the chopped cilantro.  

Serves 4 for dinner, or 6 as an appetizer 

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