Butternut Squash, Pear and Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage

American Thanksgiving is coming up and there’s nothing more thanksgiving-y then butternut squash – creamy, dreamy and delicious. So thank you southern neighbours for allowing me to celebrate the harvest again. I love you.

So, here’s a true story…Once upon a time, I was looking through my fridge and there was some left over pumpkin, a pear that was nearing the end of it’s life and a perfect little squash. So I decided to make soup. The end.

I know, I know. Sounds weird… but trust me, they willingly found each other and are now happily married and ready to spend their lives together as one happy triad. Some things are just meant to be.

But for reals, if you are a creamy soup person then you absolutely need to make this! It has everything that a great soup has – aromatics, body and flavour…not to mention it’s dairy-free! It is the real deal.

The reason why I love this recipe so much is because everything is roasted beforehand. Roasting means caramelization and caramelization means flavour!! So cube up that squash, toss it in some EVOO and some spices, pop that bad boy in the oven and let it do it’s magic.

Since the squash takes longer to cook through, give it about 25 minutes to roast up, pull it out and add the rest of the ingredients to the sheet pan, toss with a bit more oil and roast for another 20 until everything is fork-tender. Browned edges are accepted and encouraged.

Now it’s time to soupify! Remove the thyme sprigs and dump everything else into a blender with the pumpkin and broth. Add more broth if you prefer a thinner soup.

Blend ‘er until smooth.

While the soup is blending, place a large pot over medium-high heat with some olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a bunch of sage leaves and a sprinkle of sea salt and let crisp up for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

Turn the heat to medium-low, transfer the soup to the pot and add the coconut milk. Let simmer until the milk is fully incorporated and warmed through.

Transfer to your fave bowl and garnish with the crispy sage, flaky sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. I also like to add some dairy-free coconut yogurt and some roasted hazelnuts. I mean…Come on!

Butternut Squash, Pear and Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pear (I used Bartlett), sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 20 fresh sage leaves, separated
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts (optional)*
  • A dollop of dairy-free coconut yogurt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle over the cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Toss together with your hands until evenly coated and then roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and add the pear, onion, garlic, thyme sprigs and ten sage leaves. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper and toss again. Create a “bed” for the garlic cloves by placing them on top of some of the other vegetables, so they do not burn from the direct heat of the pan. Roast for another 20 minutes, or until everything is fork-tender.
  4. Remove from oven and discard thyme sprigs. Add everything to a blender with the pumpkin and broth. Blend until smooth. Add in a bit more broth if you like a thinner soup.
  5. While the soup is blending, place a large pot over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the remaining ten sage leaves and a pinch of sea salt. They should begin sizzling immediately. Let them fry for about a minute or so, until nice and crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.
  6. Lower the burner to medium-low heat and add the blended soup into the same pot that was used to crisp the sage. Add the coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with roasted hazelnuts, yogurt and crispy sage!

NOTES:

*To roast hazelnuts, place them on a sheet pan and into a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Rub them between your fingers to remove the skins.

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