Friday, December 19, 2008

Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Soup

I had big plans of posting several recipes from our anniversary party, and also the many cookie recipes I've made this year. Unfortunately, because I am making all those cookies, and trying to get everything done before Christmas (6 days! gulp!), this will not be possible.

The cookie recipes will wait until next year (would it be possible to be organized enough to write the posts in January, then actually remember to post them next November??? Could I possibly do that??? :)

This will most likely be my final post before Christmas. We leave to visit my parents' next Tuesday and will not return until Saturday.

For the first course at our anniversary party, I chose Eating Well's "Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Soup. Heaven. Roasting the pears and squash really brought out their flavors, and the soup has a sweet, caramel-y note from the roasting process. I served with crumbled gorgonzola on the side since Jack claims not to like blue cheese.

It was an easy, elegant soup, perfect for an everyday dinner (served with salad and bread) or a special occasion multi-course meal. I made it 3 weeks ahead of time, so it was in the freezer and ready to be thawed and heated-- couldn't have been a better choice for an easy and delicious first course!

Roasted Pear-Butternut Soup with Crumbled Stilton

Makes 6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each


2 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 large leek, pale green and white parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced and washed thoroughly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
⅔ cup crumbled Stilton or other blue-veined cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives or scallion greens


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine pears, squash, tomatoes, leek, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 40 to 55 minutes. Let cool slightly.
3. Place half the vegetables and 2 cups broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Puree the remaining vegetables and 2 cups broth. Add to the pan and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. Cook the soup over medium-low heat, stirring, until hot, about 10 minutes. Divide among 6 bowls and garnish with cheese and chives (or scallion greens).


Nutrition Information

Per serving: 236 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 6 g fiber; 721 mg sodium; 721 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (350% daily value), Vitamin C (70% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Calcium (20% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat

I may be able to make it back here for one more pre-Christmas post... I have a chocolate-peppermint cookie which I just have to share!