We have been enjoying an extended Indian summer here in Baltimore, but it feels as though the wind is bringing in winter. Although I am not a fan of winter I do adore winter foods; soups, chili, roasted vegetables, eggnog, soy chai lattes, and steaming bowls of breakfast porridge. For weeks a butternut squash has been sitting on my counter and I’ve been feeling guilty for not using it. Anthony isn’t much of a squash man so I’ve been trying to think of a way to cook it so that he’ll actually eat. A velvety smooth butternut squash soup seemed to fit the bill; he enjoys a good soup and we are finally having soup worthy weather.
The thought of plain old butternut squash soup didn’t inspire me so I looked around the kitchen for something to add a little pizzazz to it. I also happened to have several pears that have been languishing alongside the squash and although I’ve never had butternut squash and pears together I thought it might work. Generally produce that is in season together taste delicious together, I was hoping this would hold true for the squash and pears. After cooking the squash and pears until soft and blending them into a beautiful golden puree, I added a can of coconut milk to give another layer of flavor and a creamy consistency. Some curry powder and ginger complemented the coconut flavor and the acidity of the lemon juice brightened it up.
Overall I would say it was a great success. Anthony and I both thought it was yummy and quite filling. The consistency was smooth and creamy, exactly what I was hoping for, but without all the calories of a butternut squash soup made with butter and cream. It is also chock full of nutritional goodness, beta-carotene from the squash, a healthy dose of fiber from the pears and squash, and some lovely anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the curry powder and ginger. Like most soups I’m assuming it will taste even better tomorrow when the flavors have had time to meld. I’ll let you know how it tastes after I eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Enjoy!
Gluten and Dairy Free Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-pieces (2 lb.)
- 3 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces (1 1/2 lb.)
- 5 cups of gluten-free vegetable broth
- 1 14-oz can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the curry powder and powdered ginger to the onions and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the squash and pears and sauté for 5 more minutes. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, or use and immersion blender; blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and stir in lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes until soup has thickened slightly. Serve and garnish with optional pumpkin seeds.