This healthy Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup makes for a comforting and flavorful weeknight meal. It’s creamy, robust, and warms you right through. Go ahead and welcome a little fall into your home!
My in-laws just sent my girls their SECOND Christmas package. Yep, we have officially skipped over Thanksgiving and it seems as if nobody cares.
The first Christmas package arrived yesterday and even though all the presents were wrapped in holiday paper, my girls opened the presents and shrugged with an “oops” when they realized they were supposed to wait until December to open them.
Well the second half of the Christmas stash made its presence today following a cheery knock on the door from the mailman. The package came with perfect timing, giving me an effective bribe for Braelyn to finish her homework. I insisted that no package was to be opened until math and spelling sentences were complete.
Well that was one of the quickest (as well as least dramatic) homework sessions that I can recall recently. Thank you Grandma Kaye!
Anyway, once it was package time we decided to give grandma a call so she could witness just how jittery the girls were to rip into her package of fun. Their eyes turned to saucers when they saw yet another stash of holiday wrapped presents for each of them.
I insisted that this stash was to be opened on Christmas (they wouldn’t make the same mistake as yesterday opening them early), but lo and behold they convinced grandma to let them open the gifts NOW.
I saw that one coming from a mile away.
Needless to say, Christmas came early this year.
Yep, Christmas somehow made it’s debut before Thanksgiving even arrived. Silly how grandparents can switch holidays around on you. But hey, nobody’s complaining around here.
My only complaint with Christmas hijacking Thanksgiving is that it tauntingly reminds me of how close the end of fall is. Before you know it, winter will be in full fury. Not that winter even affects us over here on the island, but it sure does take over social media.
Forget pumpkin and squash and say hello to peppermint and eggnog. Oh don’t you worry little turkey, you will soon be overshadowed by the coveted Honeybaked ham. And pumpkin and pecan pies will soon be replaced by Christmas cookies, or cherry and apple filled pies in the least.
So yeah, soon all of my fall flavors will be a thing of the past.
But until then, I will be holding on to ALL things fall, lighting my pumpkin candles, and slurping on spoonfuls of this Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup.
How ’bout that for stubborn???
Butternut squash soups have got to be one of my all time favorite soup flavors. I love the sweet and savory combo along with the velvety smoothness from the puree. I especially love adding a bit of cream to my butternut squash soups, giving it that extra creaminess.
…sometimes I like to err more on the healthy side. Not that a dose of heavy cream isn’t good for the body and soul every once in a while (trust me, it is), but occasionally it’s nice to know that you are eating a bowlful of nothing but lean roasted veggies.
That’s exactly what this soup is: savory, sweet, seasoned veggies and pears roasted in simple olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once roasted, the squash and onions begin to caramelize and leave this magnificent residue of caramely goodness on the bottom of the pan that you later add to your soup puree. It’s absolutely fantastic.
In addition to the fabulous roasted veggies, you then add some extra fall inspired seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, and sage to compliment the flavor of the squash. The squash is slightly sweet on its own, but the addition of coconut sugar or brown sugar enhances that sweetness to the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
To give this soup extra depth and flavor, I added some red cooking wine right before simmering. The alcohol taste will burn off during the 10 extra minutes of stove top cooking, and you will be left with another level of flavor to your soup.
I was surprised at how creamy and smooth this soup turned out without having to add any actual cream. And by not adding any cream, this soup retains it’s naturally brilliant orange hue that makes eating it even that much more satisfying. AND it keeps this soup 100% dairy free for those dairy free folks out there.
Now, of course, you can eat this soup plain, but may I recommend a few mix-in choices??? I topped my bowl of soup with a balsamic reduction drizzle, roasted pumpkin seeds, and some quartered grape tomatoes. The combo was winner.
But, feel free to top this soup with whatever you have on hand: croutons, dried fruit, candied nuts, pita chips, crumbled goat cheese, bacon bits, etc. The options are endless…unlike the bowl of soup…that will soon be gone.
What are your favorite toppings for soup?
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sized butternut squash
- 2 Bartlett pears
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 medium sized carrots
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
- 1¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons red cooking wine
- 4-5 cups water
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash of cayenne
- Suggested toppings:
- balsamic reduction
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- grape tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds out. Lay on baking sheet, flesh side up.
- Peel outer skin of onion and quarter. Lay on baking sheet.
- Peel skin off pears and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out stem and seeds. Lay on baking sheet.
- Chop carrots into thumb sized chunks and lay on baking sheet.
- Drizzle 3-4 tablespoon of olive oil over pears and veggies. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Toss to coat all evenly. Roast veggies at 400 degrees for 45 mins to 1 hour or until squash and carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. 10 mins before veggies are done, add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to each well of butternut squash where the seeds were. Return to oven to finish baking. Once squash is tender, remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Scoop out flesh of one squash into a blender and add half the pears and other veggies. Add 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Pour into a large pot. Scoop out flesh from remaining squash and place in blender with the other pear and rest of the veggies. Scrape all drippings from pan along with extra olive oil from pan into blender. Add 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Pour into pot.
- Add additional ½-3/4 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, cooking wine, coconut sugar, sage, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Mix until well incorporated. Add an additional 1 cup of water depending on consistency preference.
- Bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season and sweeten to taste and serve warm with desired toppings.