Soup de Jour: Roasted squash, pear and ginger

Roasted butternut squash, pears and ginger simmering in their own broth.

In honor of the First Day of Fall – well, the first day that actually feels like Fall in southern california, I’m making delicious butternut squash soup. It’s so good, I had to fight myself from finishing the roasted ingredients before I finished making the soup!
Added benefit: your home smells so wonderfully autumnal from the roasting ingredients.

Roasted squash, pear, and ginger soup

Made from just five ingredients, this soup can be prepared with virtually any winter squash and pear variety.

 2½-pound butternut squash, halved, seeded (seeds reserved) and cut into quarters.

   ripe but firm pears, any variety, quartered, seeds and stems removed

   two-inch chunk fresh ginger root peeled and thinly sliced

3    tablespoons canola oil (or other mild oil), divided

1    onion, thinly sliced

½   cup sour cream or Fage fat-free Greek yogurt, optional

Heat the oven to 425°F. Arrange squash and pears in a large roasting pan (or cookie sheet) with all but a few slices of the ginger. Brush with 1-tablespoon oil and season with salt. Bake 1 hour, or until tender.

Remove pan from oven and scrape the flesh of the squash away from the skins into a bowl (about 2 cups worth – anything extra is fair game to munch on!). Keep the skins handy, and put all the rest of the roasted items in a bowl.

Deglaze the (now empty) pan by adding 1 cup of water and let sizzle, scraping up the browned bits: transfer to a bowl and reserve.  An alternative to this method that wont risk scratching your pan is letting the water set for a few minutes, then use the oil brush to dislodge the browned bits.

Make the stock: bring 6 cups of water to a boil; add the seeds, the squash skins, the remaining ginger and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Roasted butternut squash, pear and ginger soup puree.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, over medium heat, warm remaining two tablespoons of oil. Add sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Add roasted pears, ginger, and squash, then the reserved deglazing liquid.

Strain the stock into the squash mixture. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

Cool briefly, then puree until smooth. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Happy eating!

For those of us watching our waistlines: makes 4 servings, 220 calories, 2g of protein, 31g carbohydrates, 11g of fat, 7g of fiber.

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