Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #186: Butternut Squash and Pear Harvest Soup

by Bryanna Rossmiller, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview]

Photo credit: Steve/Flickr

Autumn is here – hallelujah! From squash, to apple cider, to almost anything pumpkin-spice flavored, it is easy to get caught up in fall flavors.

This soup is one of my all-time favorites, because it uses seasonal produce, tastes great on a cold day, and is easy to prepare. When you’re done cooking, you simply throw the whole soup into a blender for a smooth, pureed consistency.

This recipe is also an all-in-one healthy fall staple containing both fruit and vegetables. The squash and carrots are rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps maintain eyesight. If you want to add protein and crunch, try garnishing the top with pumpkin seeds or walnuts.

Butternut Squash and Pear Harvest Soup

Adapted from AllRecipes.com.

(Serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 2 large leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup carrots, diced or coined
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • ½ cup light cream or half and half
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste (start with ¼ tsp. each)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives or green onions (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt the olive oil or butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onions, and sauté until soft and translucent (roughly 5 minutes).
  2. Add potato, squash, carrots, pear, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Use a liquid measuring cup or other container (one with a handle is best) to carefully pour batches of the soup into a blender. Puree the soup one cup or container-full at a time until smooth.
  4. Return the soup to the main pot. Add the cream and stir. Season with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Simmer gently on low heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chives or green onions. You may also add walnuts or pumpkin seeds for a garnish.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 314 calories, 11.8 total g fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 48 g carbohydrate, 7.2g fiber, 874 mg sodium.

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