Acorn Squash & Pear Soup

One of my favorite meals to make when the temperature starts to plummet is soup. I ran across this very delicious soup recipe from Taste of Home magazine (Dec/Jan 2013). I made it to share with friends or for potlucks and have received several compliments! This unique soup has an amazing flavor – pairing the sweetness of the pears with the savory flavors of the squash and other spices. I found a few shortcuts – but it still takes about an hour and a half to make – so start early! The recipe serves 10 (or cut in half for 5 servings).

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium acorn squash (cut in half)
  • 4 medium firm pears, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 inch cubes)
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt (or less if broth has higher sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 carton (48 oz or 6 cups) vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pears, celery, onion, olive oil and seasonings. Transfer to a greased shallow roasting pan. Brush olive oil on the inside of the acorn squash and place on a separate cooking pan/cookie sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 1 1/4 hours or until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cool slightly. Scoop out one of the squash halves and add to a food processor along with 1/4 of the roasted veggies mixture. Process in 4 batches along with 1.5 cups of the vegetable broth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and heat through, stirring occasionally.

Shortcut: cut the acorn squash in 1/2 & bake it for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees, then sauté all the rest of the vegetables with seasoning on the stove until soft. Scoop out the squash and add along with the seasoned vegetables to a blender (in batches), then add broth and puree together. Transfer to a large pot and heat through.

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