The Recipes

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

It's chilly outside, and oh, there are SO many days of heavy eating coming up.  I decided today was an excellent day to lighten up with a soup, and this one came out with just the right amount of heat.

When you clean the leek, remove the tough end and cut it down the middle length-wise.  Thoroughly rinse the leek before slicing, as dirt tends to get trapped between the pieces.  Try to dice the pear and squash about the same size to ensure even cooking.



Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Ingredients:

- 1 leek, rinsed and sliced
- 1 pear, peeled and diced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 T. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3-4 c. vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- olive oil
- salt
- pepper
- cilantro, chopped for garnish
- flavored olive oil (I used a harissa olive oil) or just more olive oil for garnish

In a large pot, heat 1 T. of olive oil.  Add the leek, season with salt and let it soften for 2-3 minutes.  Add the paprika and cayenne and stir for a minute, letting the spices bloom in the oil.  Add in the squash and pear and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, then add in the stock and bay leaf.

Let the soup simmer for 40 minutes; until the squash is very tender.  Remove the bay leaf and puree in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender.  Return it to the pot and bring it back to a warm temperature.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cilantro.  Drop the oil of your choice around the cilantro.