Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
One of the nice things about this recipe is that you can always adjust the texture — add more broth if you like it thinner, or make it with less for a thicker soup. We like ours on the heartier side.
1 cup diced onion or leek (use only the white and light green parts, if using leek)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil (I tend to use a mixture of both)
6 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash (large chunks; about 1 1/2 inches or so)
2 medium pears, peeled and diced (you can also use apples)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1-2 tsp. dried
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use homemade chicken stock for this)
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter until soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the squash, pears, and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the broth, cover, and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup (I use a hand blender for this, but you can transfer to a blender or food processor) until smooth. Add the cream, if using, and season to taste. You can also add more broth at this point if you want a thinner soup. I serve this with warm sourdough bread and a green salad, or with ham and cheese panini for a more filling meal.