Roasted Pear & Butternut Squash Soup w/ Crumbled Stilton

We were thumbing through a great cookbook the other day looking for seasonal recipes when one  in particular caught our eye for this time of year: a soup combining roasted pears and butternut squash.

The dish comes from a cookbook written by the EatingWell editors. They teamed with health care provider Kaiser Permanente to produce EatingWell In Season (The Countryman Press, 2009). It’s loaded with excellent, healthy recipes — such as pork cutlets with maple-spiced red cabbage and apples or a green salad featuring asparagus and peas.

We like pears and butternut squash. But we’ve never had pears in a soup. “Here they are roasted to sweet perfection with butternut squash and puréed to create a cream soup that gets a luxurious garnish of Stilton cheese,” the cookbook notes.

While this soup is creamy, it doesn’t contain any cream. The EatingWell editors also note that a medium pear delivers 6 grams of fiber, “much of it the soluble kind that may help to lower blood cholesterol.”

And we learned that pears “are one of the rare fruits that actually develop better flavor and texture after they’re picked.” So don’t be turned off when a pear seems hard and unripe at the market.

The soup is very easy to prepare. The pears and butternut squash as well as tomatoes, a leek, and garlic are cut up, tossed in some extra virgin olive oil, and then roasted in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for a little bit less than an hour. Afterward, the vegetables are puréed along with the broth. The soup is heated on the stove for about 10 minutes before serving.

You can garnish each bowl with some Stilton and either chives or scallion greens. The soup, by the way can be served as a first course or as a main course with a salad and crusty bread. It also can be made ahead and either chilled or frozen. Come to think of it, the dish would make a nice addition to any Thanksgiving meal.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch