WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH PEAR, WALNUT AND THYME CONSERVE

WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH PEAR, WALNUT AND THYME CONSERVE

This thick and creamy soup is delicious. The chili powder gives the soup a scarlet glow and the heat of the chili contrasts with the sweet Pear, Walnut & Thyme Conserve that is added to the soup.  I grew Buttercup squash this past summer and used some of those squash in this recipe. You can also use Butternut squash or even Acorn squash. This recipe makes four generous servings.

I adapted this recipe from Eugenia Bone’s wonderful cookbook, Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Food, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York 2009 to make it completely oil-free and plant-based.

 INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups of peeled, seeded and cubed winter squash, about 3 pounds
  • 1 cup of chopped onion, about 1 medium
  • 1 cup of peeled and chopped celery, about 3 stalks
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teas. chili powder approximate (chili powders vary in hotness)
  • 1 tbsp.  brown sugar
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups of Pear, Walnut & Thyme Conserve  CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE
  • Fresh thyme for garnish

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. Put the cubed squash on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the squash in the oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until the edges of the cubed squash begin to brown. Remove from the oven.

While the squash is cooking, sauté the onion and celery in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the onions and celery start to lose their water and stick to the pot, add a few tablepoonsful of vegetable broth and use a wooden spoon to loosen the vegetables and get up the brown, sticky bits. Do this a couple of times until the onions are translucent. Add the chili powder, sugar and stir to coat and turn the heat to low and let simmer for a few minutes.

Put the roasted squash and the vegetable broth in a large Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the onion mixture and stir to mix everything. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, until the flavors have combined.

Turn off the heat and carefully puree the soup using an immersion blender. When the soup is pureed, heat on medium-low for 5 minutes. You should have about 8 cups.  Add 2 cups of the conserve to the soup and stir.

TO SERVE
Spoon the soup into four bowls and spoon one-half cup of the remaining conserve into each bowl. If you want to have six small servings, spoon one-third cup of the remaining conserve into each bowl. Garnish with some thyme leaves and serve.

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