This is one of my most requested recipes. I’ve made this recipe for my cooking club in Virginia on at least two occasions. I’ve also made it for Thanksgiving for probably the past six years, and also in my friend’s Argosy camper the past two years while camping. You know a recipe is good when people request it over and over again.
This is especially good if you use my homemade Easy Chicken Broth. However, you can use organic chicken broth or veggie broth and it’ll still be delicious. You can even substitute additional broth for the milk to keep this vegan.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
For the roasted veggies:
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes. You can also buy it prechopped at many grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s.
- 2 Bosc pears, cut into quarters. I don’t peel mine, but you are free to do so.
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole
- 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the soup:
- 2 cups Easy Chicken Broth (follow link for recipe), vegetable broth, or chicken broth
- 1.5 to 2 cups milk or half and half, or additional broth if you’d like this to be dairy free.
- Pinch of crushed red pepper, or more to taste
- Penzey’s freeze-dried shallots (for garnish, optional)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grab a sheet pan and a gallon Ziploc bag. Place the oil, butternut squash, pears, salt and pepper, and garlic in the bag and mix to coat. Dump the bag contents onto the sheet pan and roast for approximately 20 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula to make sure that things aren’t sticking or burning. Continue to cook until a knife inserted into the butternut squash comes out easily, about another 5-15 minutes.
This is one of those recipes that begs for an immersion blender. Once the mixture is finished in the oven, simply put all the ingredients in a large soup pot on the stove. Add the chicken stock and then pulverize using the immersion blender until the mixture is smooth. Feel free to add additional seasonings at this stage (for example, curry powder or chili powder can be added if you like a little heat). Once the mixture is smooth, add enough milk (or half and half or broth) until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Heat through the on the stove on medium-low heat without allowing the mixture to come to a boil. Turn off the stove and let sit for a few hours or up to two days before serving to allow flavors to meld. Reheat before serving. Note: best made the day before you plan to serve this.
Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor or blender and do it in batches. If you are doing this, keep in mind to only fill things half full if they are hot. And be careful! You don’t want to be splashed by hot soup.
I have to admit that this recipe has seen many variations over the years. If you are skipping the milk and keeping it vegan, keep in mind that any spices you add to kick up the heat is often tamed by dairy. And as many variations as I have done, I often find that people like the pure, simple version the best.