Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Curry Butternut Squash and Pear Soup (Vegan Option)

Don't you love it when "happy accidents" happen in the kitchen.

The plan was to make butternut squash apple soup - I was in the kitchen, apron on, tunage playing, getting into the zone when I reached my hand in the fruit bowl only to find that I unkowingly devoured the last apple days before. Crap. With not enough squash to make a plain squash soup and no car to go to the store I was stuck - the only fruit in our house were three under ripe Barlett pears (which I had been saving to make a tart). And then, it hit me...apples are sweet and... pears are sweet so what's the big deal? Time to sacrifice that tart in the name of soup!

I have previously confessed my love of curry so you shouldn't be surprised at the savory - sweet combo. This soup blew my expectations! The sweetness of the roasted squash and pears meld perfectly with the savory back heat of the curry. you can easily adjust this recipe to fit a vegan diet too, just note the parentheses in the recipe!

Curry Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

serves 4-5

1 (2 pound) butternut squash
2 firm Bartlett pears, peeled and diced
1 TBS coconut oil
1 small onion, diced fine
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 TBS yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/2 cup half and half (or soy milk)
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream and thyme to garnish (no sour cream for vegans obviously)


1.Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Rub squash down with a little vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until very soft, about 45 minutes. Scoop the pulp from the peel, and reserve.

2.Melt coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, cook and stir until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add spices and toast until fragrant, about 2 min. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir in the pears and the reserved squash, and simmer until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes.

3.Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender. Puree in batches until smooth (or you can use an immersion blender which is 1000 times more convenient). Return the soup to the pot, stir in the half and half (or soy milk), and reheat. Add salt and pepper to desired tastes.

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