1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 firm-ripe Anjou pear, peeled and quartered
2 large shallots, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder (optional)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°. Gently toss first 3 ingredients with oil; season with sea salt and pepper, and place in a jelly-roll pan. Bake 35 minutes or until tender and browned. Add garlic, ginger, and garam masala, if desired, and toss well; bake 5 more minutes.
Pour wine over squash mixture, stirring to deglaze pan. Let stand 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender; add broth (in batches, if necessary), and puree until smooth. (For smoothest texture, press squash puree through a wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids.)
Transfer puree to a large saucepan, and stir in cream. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into cordial glasses, and garnish with pumpkin seeds, if desired.
I made this soup for Thanksgiving, doubling the recipe for my group of 8, and serving it in bowls as a first course rather than cordial glasses. I decided to use fresh minced ginger rather than ground, so I looked up the equivalent to 1/8 t. and found that it was a tablespoon! Seemed like a lot but I used it (2 T. for the doubled recipe), and it was great! Didn't use the curry, and my daughter is a vegetarian, so I used vegetable stock. When serving, I added a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of toasted pumpkin oil. Looked beautiful and tasted fantastic! Everybody raved!
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