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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to preference. Garnish with the fried sage leaves.