I love butternut squash soup but I don't like peeling them. I dislike that weird yellow film that you get on your hands, plus it's time consuming, clunky and difficult. Roasting the squash first solves this problem and makes this soup so effortless, you will want to make it all winter long. Roasting the squash and pears with all the other veggies—skins on—not only saves you the trouble of peeling them, it also adds a depth of flavor that you just can't get on top of the stove. Using pears or apples adds a sweetness to the smoky roasted garlic and onions that all complement the flavor of the delicate squash. Finishing with a touch of créme fråiche and a sprinkle of sumac (a Middle Eastern spice with a tart, lemony flavor) adds tangy goodness. I often serve soup in small cups to sip as a hand held appetizer before dinner, warm and satisfying. Cold winter weather, bring it on!
Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Soup
3 lb butternut squash, halved, seeds removed
2 small yellow onions, halved
1 bulb garlic
2 red pears (any kind will work) cut in half, cored
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper
6 c chicken stock
1/4 c dry sherry
créme fråiche (optional)
Preheat oven 400° Place the squash, onion, cut-side up, the pears and the garlic on a lightly greased sheet pan lined with non-stick baking paper (if you have some). Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes or until onion is caramelized and squash is soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh of the squash into a large saucepan. Remove the onion and garlic (cut a bit off of the top, exposing the cloves and squeeze the sides until the soft garlic comes out) from their skins and add to the pan. Add the pears to the pan too.
Add the stock, and, using a hand-held stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Place the soup over high heat and bring to the boil to warm through. Add the sherry, top with créme fråiche and sprinkle with sumac (if using) to serve. Serves 12 as an appetizer portion, 6 as a main serving.
Voted Best Caterer for Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties 2016