Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Cumin

I was so excited to see the first pears and butternut squash show up at the grocery store recently. I guess I should dread seeing them: signs the summer is coming to an end, and fall will soon be here. I've loved this summer: walking to work on sunny mornings, spending evenings on the roof of my building and never getting cold even as it gets dark, picnicking in parks, and wearing skirts and dresses. Summer is romantic, and freeing. But fall has butternut squash soup.

I adapted this recipe from Eating Well. I first saw this recipe last spring, and waited until now to make it when squash and pear season is finally beginning.  The original recipe called for butternut squash, pears, leeks, garlic and tomatoes to be roasted, then pureed with vegetable stock and served with Stilton cheese. This sounds wonderful, and I still intend to try it that way. However, I forgot to pick up Stilton or a similar cheese at the store, and I ended up deciding the soup wasn't interesting enough without it. I improvised and added a bit of cumin and some yogurt to the soup and the flavors all worked very well together. I garnished mine with sauteed leeks and chopped scallions.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Cumin
Adapted from this Eating well recipe
Serves 6 people
2-3 medium butternut squash, peeled and cored, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 very ripe pears, peeled and cored, cut into quarters
2 large leeks, trimmed and cleaned, 1 chopped roughly into 1 inch pieces, one sliced into small match sticks for garnish
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup plain fat free or low fat yogurt
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 TBS olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sliced scallions for garnish

1.Combine the chopped squash, pears, tomatoes, crushed garlic, and chopped leek (leave the other leek aside for later) and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. spread on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven (375 degrees) for 40 minutes.

2. If using a hand blender, add the roasted vegetables to a large soup pot, and blend. If you choose to use a blender, pour half the liquid and half the vegetables into the blender,  blend, and then repeat with the second half, before adding to the pot. add the cumin and mix, heat for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the yogurt and mix until combined. Serve warm, and garnish with sauteed leeks and/or fresh scallions.

I served this twice, once as a dinner for myself and one friend, accompanied with a fresh salad of mixed greens, dried fruit and almonds, and freshly baked crusty french bread (more on the bread soon!) and once as a light first course before a dinner of sirloin steak tips and farmers market vegetables.

1 comment: