Wintery butternut squash soup, sweetened with maple syrup and a pear, is perfect for festive gatherings or weeknight meals, and is ideal for sipping from a mug après-ski, or when doing homework.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive or canola oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 ripe pear or tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
1/2–1 cup (125-250 ml) half & half or whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup (optional)
1/2 tsp (2 ml) sage or
1 tsp (5 ml) curry powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
In a large saucepan or small pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4–5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the squash, pear, stock, cinnamon stick, a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Add the cream, maple syrup, sage and salt and puree with a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot, or transfer in batches to a blender and carefully puree until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings and serve hot. Serves 6.
Per serving: 170 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 3.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 19.6 g carbohydrates, 17 mg cholesterol, 5.6 g protein, 2.7 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2013.