Full Belly Sisters: Butternut Squash & Pear Soup: Real Convenience Food

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Butternut Squash & Pear Soup: Real Convenience Food

'Tis the season for winter squash. Not only is it super affordable and accessible right now, but season-appropriate foods also tend to be fresher and more flavorful. So, get thee to a farmer's market or grocery store and buy some butternut squash now! And then make this easy soup! It would be a perfect start to Thanksgiving dinner: fill up on this and you won't have as much room for the higher-calorie, lower-nutrition victuals. 

Not only is this a simple dish—perfect for a quick weeknight meal—it's also incredibly nutritious. Winter squash are absolutely loaded with alpha- and beta-carotene. Squash are also great sources of vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium, fiber, folate and even omega-3s.  Butternut is just one type of winter squash; it is perfect for soup because it isn't usually stringy. 

I added a pear to this simple, clean soup, in order to heighten the sweetness of the squash a bit. I used a red anjou—it was too gorgeous to pass by!—but you can use any ripe pear you like. Also, if you don't have vegetable stock on hand, just use a box of stock (preferably low-sodium, so you can control the amount of salt). 

(serves 4-6)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 1/2 to 6 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large pear, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • minced pear, for garnish (optional)
Using a three-quart saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and sautĂ© until translucent and tender. Add squash, as well as some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover all ingredients with stock. 

Bring to a simmer and add pears. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Remove the pot from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. I like mine to have quite a bit of savory elements, since i love that balance with sweet foods. Garnish with some minced pear—not only does it look pretty, but it's a nice texture contrast with the smooth soup. You could also try topping it with a drizzle of cream, a dollop of creme fraiche, or some chopped chives.

I served this soup with a little platter of dried cranberries and apricots, a log of goat cheese, and chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It was a hit—even with my friend's three-and-a-half-year-old daughter!


  1. it was soooo good! thanks for posting the recipe and Alice thanks you, too! 

  2. Glad you both liked it!

  3. Delicious soup!  I love the creative addition of the pear.  I added some coconut milk for extra creaminess and it came out great.

  4. Mmm, that sounds like a fabulous addition! Thanks for sharing and for posting a review - much appreciated :-)

  5. Also shared at the linky party at http://everydaymomsmeals.blogspot.com/2012/01/church-supper-21.html

  6. This looks so delicious.  I love the color of this soup. Come visit us. We have a terrific vegetable soup this week! 

  7. Thanks for coming by! I'll check out your soup, too :-)

  8. Also shared at the recipe linky: http://www.realfoodfreaks.com/2012/02/16/freaky-friday-2172012/

  9. Shared at Amee's Savory Dish Fit & Fabulous linky: http://www.ameessavorydish.com/2012/03/fit-and-fabulous-fridays-25.html

  10. Hi. Recipe sounds delish! I am not a big cook so where would I find Coconut Oil in the grocery store?  Thank you. penny.friday@yahoo.com

  11. Thanks, Penny! You can definitely find coconut oil in health food stores or online; you can probably find it in grocery stores in bigger cities. If you can't easily find it, feel free to substitute butter or extra virgin olive oil :-)


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