Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ginger-Warmed Butternut Squash Pear Soup

On a cold day in January (or any other month), there's nothing like a bowl of soup, along with some crusty bread and a salad, for dinner. I created this soup from what was on hand - ginger, garlic, onion, butternut squash, and a ripe pear. Additional flavour comes from roasting the squash in the oven until tender and just beginning to carmelize. The layers of flavours blend into a creamy, satisfying soup that I plan on making again and again. The pear addition is optional, but added a touch of sweetness that I enjoyed.

Ginger-warmed Butternut Squash Pear Soup

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 - 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored, cut into chunks
4 cups chicken stock
salt to taste

Toss the squash cubes with the first amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 400 degrees until tender and just beginning to brown, about 45 minutes. 

While the squash is roasting, heat the second Tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pot. Add the diced onion and saute until softened. Add the minced garlic and ginger, stir for 1 - 2 minutes and then add the pear chunks. When the butternut squash is cooked, add it to the mixture, and pour the chicken stock over all. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat, puree with a stick blender, season to taste and serve.