I woke up this morning to the sweet sound of rain falling outside. Hmmm, I thought, the perfect day for making soup! Butternut, my favorite squash, is plentiful, sweet, and easy to cook. Here's a lovely, filling soup, delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich and a green salad. Pureeing the soup means you don't have to be fussy with dicing the vegetables. Just get them roughly the same size.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving1 medium yellow onion, diced large1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1 - 2 inch squares*2 pears, peeled and diced to 1 inch squares1 pear, peeled, cut in half, core removedSalt and pepper, to tasteA pinch each of cayenne and cumin1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6 minutes. Add squash, diced pear, halved pear, and 4 cups water; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until squash is soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the whole pear from the pot and dice it.In batches, fill a blender halfway with soup and yogurt. Puree in batches. Caution: don’t use the blender top while pureeing hot liquids. Instead, drape a clean cloth over the top while pureeing the vegetables with the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne and cumin. Serve topped with the reserved diced pear.
*If you have a microwave, use it to make peeling the butternut squash easier. Microwave the whole squash for one minute at a time. Between 1 and 3 minutes, you'll find the peel beginning to cook and much easier to separate from the flesh. Be careful -- it will be hot. Let it cool a little first. -- JuJu Harris