Butternut Squash Soup with Pear & Sage

An original recipe by CSA member Melanie Suksomnil

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Roasting the butternut squash brings out its natural sweetness and adds depth of flavor to the soup. The sage brings in notes of late autumn while the pear reminds us that it’s not quite time to dig out the flannel pajamas yet. Curiously, this soup tastes a lot like a pierogi – so side bonus for anyone with a hankering for his or her baba’s home cooking.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
3 Tablespoons good quality unsalted butter
1 bunch baby leeks, wash thoroughly to remove sand and thinly chopped
2 firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
½ Tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped –or- 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1 teaspoon summer savory, minced–or- ¼ teaspoon dried savory
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream, for dolloping
fresh sprigs of savory, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Add 1 cup of water to a large casserole dish and lay butternut squash on top, cut side down. Bake for 30-45 minutes until squash has softened. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, add leeks and pears to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes or until leeks have wilted down and are just beginning to get golden. Meanwhile, scoop the butternut squash out of its skin.

3. Add sage and savory to the pot and sauté with the leeks and pear until fragrant, about a minute.

3. Add chicken stock and butternut squash to the pot and turn heat to medium-high, stirring and mashing squash with the side of your wooden spoon to break it down into smaller chunks. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble rapidly, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup cool at room temperature, then working in batches, blend the soup.

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