Asian Pear Butternut Squash Soup

  • Yield 4 servings

Butternut squash is roasted in the oven while the delightfully crisp Asian pear and green apple are sautéed, then seasoned with sage, ginger and lemon juice.

Ingredients

1 (1 3/4-pound) butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Asian Pear, cored and sliced
1 green apple, cored and sliced
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste*
1/2 cup white wine
12 fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground sage
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. To roast the butternut squash, preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash can be easily scooped out of its skin and tender when pricked with a fork. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and set aside.
  2. Place the olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan. Sautee the Asian pear and apple slices over medium heat for about 5 minutes, flip and cook an additional 5 minutes on the other side, or until the fruit has softened and turned golden. Remove the fruit slices to a plate and set aside.
  3. Fry 8 of the sage leaves in the olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sage leaves become crispy, adding a little more oil if necessary. Place the fried sage on a plate and set aside.
  4. Sauté the chopped onion in the same olive oil you used to fry the sage for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the garlic begins to become fragrant.
  5. Place the roasted Asian pear slices, apple slices, sautéed onion, sautéed garlic, roasted butternut squash, vegetable stock and umeboshi, if using in a blender. Add remaining 4 fresh sage leaves, mace, salt, ginger, ground sage, white pepper, lemon juice and nutmeg. Puree.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings to preference. Garnish with the fried sage leaves.
*A paste made from the pickled Japanese ume fruit. Umeboshi paste can be found in specialty shops, Japanese markets and the Japanese section of some grocery stores.
Recipe by Danica of Soundly Vegancourtesy of Meatless Monday

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